Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point has named Dr. Nancy J. Preis its new general director.
Preis will start in May, and will be assisted during a transition period by Jim Swiggart, the former general director of Opera in the Ozarks who is currently serving as the interim general director.
Carole Langley, president of the governing board, said the company conducted a nationwide search before selecting Preis.
Preis holds a doctoral degree in accounting and finance from the University of Michigan and has had an impressive career in both academia and business.
Her passion is opera, however, and she currently serves as the volunteer chief financial officer, marketing manager and occasional costume manager with the St. Petersburg Opera Company in Florida.
She was an associate professor at the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University in New York City.
She was subsequently a vice president of Kleinwort Benson N.A., a British merchant banking company.
was part of leveraged buyout team and specialized in middle market investment analysis.
moved to Florida to take over the management of a small electric motor company.
Through acquisitions, she
put together a group of specialty manufacturing companies.
The companies design and manufacture components for transportation, industrial, medical and military applications.
grew those companies to their present size of nearly 150 employees with revenues in excess of $15 million (from $200,000 at the time of her
became involved in The Florida Orchestra first as a season ticket holder and later as a board member.
She became friends with one of its principal musicians, a bassoonist, who later founded the St. Petersburg Opera.
From modest beginnings 10 years ago, the opera company now produces five main-stage productions a year and has an annual budget of nearly $1 million.
It was her
vision that led the company to purchase and raise the money for a production facility where all opera operations other than major performances take place.
The St. Petersburg Opera experience has given Preis a substantial amount of expertise in artistic management, fundraising and grant-writing, all of which are skills which are important for the Opera in the Ozarks' new general director.
is enthusiastic about coming to Eureka Springs.
"I look forward to applying the skills I have developed at St. Petersburg Opera
and in my business career to help Opera in the Ozarks
achieve the next level in its long history of successes," she