Seattle Opera Announces Nw CFO and COO Appointments

Betz-Zall and Gist start in their roles in March 2023, succeeding Jane Repensek, who had served as COO/CFO since 2017.

Seattle Opera Announces Nw CFO and COO Appointments

General Director Christina Scheppelmann has appointed two executive positions, naming Marissa Betz-Zall Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Angela Gist Chief Operations Officer (COO). Betz-Zall and Gist, who start in their roles in March 2023, succeed Jane Repensek, who had served as COO/CFO since 2017.

"Marissa and Angela are tremendous assets to our leadership team," said Scheppelmann. "Seattle Opera needs a strong staff as we navigate the wake of the pandemic, and I couldn't imagine anybody better to fill these roles. I think it's fabulous whenever you can move people up from inside the company, and Marissa and Angela have both proven that they are the best people for their jobs."

As CFO, Marissa Betz-Zall will manage the financial health of the company, seeking new funding strategies and overseeing the $25 million budget. Betz-Zall began with Seattle Opera in 2013 as a Senior Accountant and later as a Controller, before serving as Associate Director of Finance from 2019-2021. During that time, Betz-Zall stewarded Seattle Opera through the COVID-19 pandemic, securing over $11 million in pandemic relief funding. In her most recent position as CFO Client Consultant for RADAR Nonprofit Solutions, Betz-Zall oversaw the onboarding of multiple new organizations, including Seattle Opera, to the remote finance platform.

"It has been inspiring to see how Seattle Opera has grown and changed during my time with the company," said Betz-Zall, who has been coming to Seattle Opera productions since she was a child. "I am excited to explore new strategies for recovering from the pandemic and ensuring that different teams at Seattle Opera work toward a common goal. We are lucky to have strong community support and an incredible staff, positioning Seattle Opera for a bright future. I am thrilled to return to Seattle Opera in this new role."

As COO, Angela Gist will oversee the company's facilities, IT, and HR departments, and will work closely with the board to chart the company's future. Gist joined Seattle Opera in 2021 as Director of Human Resources, during which period she served as one of the company's COVID Site Monitors and spearheaded a pandemic response that has resulted in zero pandemic-related performance cancellations since lockdown. Previously, Gist served as Artistic Director of Vashon Center for the Arts and as Managing Director of Freehold Theatre.

"I am excited to find creative new ways to support our artistic work," said Gist, whose career has given her extensive experience in facilities management and capital projects. "Thanks to the hard work of my predecessor and the current leadership team, Seattle Opera has weathered the pandemic and is well prepared to level up the great work it already does. It's a remarkable moment in Seattle Opera's 60-year history and I'm honored to be a part of the possibilities that lie ahead."


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