MetLife Audio Interviews

MetLife Governance Grants for Board Development: Three Audio Interviews with Round One Recipients 

Click here to apply for this year’s round of grants (application deadline: October 15, 2013)


How Boards Get Better Through Work:  Arkansas Symphony and Berkeley Symphony

Martin Thoma, board chair, Arkansas Symphony
Kathy Henschel, board president, Berkeley Symphony 

Martin Thoma Kathy Henschel Catherine Maciariello

Martin Thoma, Kathy Henschel, Catherine Maciariello (interviewer)

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Is your board better at engaging around short-term tasks and projects than at grappling with long-term strategic issues?  Do you sometimes feel you aren’t all pulling in the same direction?  Do board members express confusion about where the organization is heading?  Today’s complex environment can be confounding for boards, who know they must get better in order to lead their orchestras effectively.  In this segment, representatives from the Arkansas and Berkeley symphonies talk about their “learning by doing” approach—how they used strategic planning to increase the governance capacity of their boards.



How Boards Think About Financial Stewardship:  Rhode Island Philharmonic and Louisiana Philharmonic

David Beauchesne, executive director and Karen Pelczarski, board president of Rhode Island Philharmonic
Babs Mollere, managing director, and Hugh Long, board president of Louisiana Philharmonic   

David Beauchesne Karen Pelczarksi Babs Mollere Hugh Long Catherine Maciariello

David Beauchesne, Karen Pelczarski, Babs Mollere, Hugh Long, Catherine Maciariello (interviewer)

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Do you entrust financial oversight of your organization to a few “financial or accounting types” on your board?  Do some eyes glaze over when you start talking about cash flow, capitalization, balance sheets, and investment policies? Do you spend more time talking to your board about their annual fundraising commitments than about the long-term fiscal health of the organization?  When a financial crisis looms, do you hear from some board members, “How did this happen?”  Raising annual funds is a critical part of the board’s job, but even more important is the board’s stewardship of the orchestra’s fiscal health.  In this segment, representatives of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra share their challenges in getting their boards to participate in fundraising and to embrace a broad fiduciary role.



How Board Self-Assessment Builds Capacity, Performance and Impact:  Arkansas Symphony and Grand Junction Symphony

Martin Thoma, board chair, Arkansas Symphony
Karen Hildebrandt, board president, Grand Junction Symphony 

Martin Thoma Karen Hildebrandt Catherine Maciariello

Martin Thoma, Karen Hildebrandt, Catherine Maciariello (interviewer)

(MP3) l (Windows Media) l (YouTube)

Sometimes uncomfortable…sometimes confusing…sometimes even brutal…say board members who engage in regular self-assessment.  But most important, self-assessment is a learning tool that enables their organizations to make critical decisions about how to improve their boards—identifying strengths as well as potential sources of confusion or conflict, examining gaps in leadership that diminish their orchestras’ strategic leverage, and highlighting structural and procedural practices that inhibit the board’s efficiency and impact.  In this segment, representatives of the Grand Junction and the Arkansas symphonies discuss the importance of self-assessment in creating high-performance boards.


Made possible by a generous grant from MetLife Foundation, these grants provide financial support to orchestra boards to support the strengthening of their governance practices.