<August 2017>


The Detroit Symphony Orchestra hires Jill Elder as Vice President and Chief Development Officer

Detroit, (July 20, 2017) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced the hiring of Jill Elder as Vice President and Chief Development Officer, effective August 29, 2017. Ms. Elder comes to the DSO from the American Cancer Society North Central Region, where she was Vice President, Distinguished Partners, serving communities in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. At the DSO, she will oversee a team of advancement professionals and volunteers and direct strategy for DSO's fund development initiatives.

“Jill's addition to the already excellent DSO team will provide our institution the catalyst it needs to leverage all that’s been accomplished over the past few years as we drive to financial sustainability,” said Mark Davidoff, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the DSO and Michigan Managing Partner at Deloitte.      

“We were all so impressed with Jill's warm personality, depth of experience, and consistent track record of success,” said DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons. “We are excited to welcome her into our oneDSO family and can't wait to get started together! I wish to thank my fellow members of the search committee for their time and dedication to this important endeavor.”

“It is an exciting time to be a part of the resurgence of Detroit, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is a critical contributor to the cultural life of the city and a key stakeholder in its future,” said Ms. Elder. “The role that the DSO plays in uniting people, connecting communities, and enhancing the education of the next generation impacts the entire region. Community building is at the core of who I am and what I have facilitated during my nearly twenty years at the American Cancer Society. My career was launched in this great city, and I am eager to play a role in its rebirth with the DSO.”

The search was led by a committee of DSO stakeholders including Chacona W. Baugh, Officer at Large, DSO Board of Directors; Ric Huttenlocher, Chairman, DSO Board of Trustees and Managing Director at J.P. Morgan & Co.; Glenn Mellow, Viola; Haden McKay, Cello; Anne Parsons, President and CEO; Erik Rönmark, Vice President and General Manager; and Linda Lutz, Vice President and CFO. The Aspen Leadership Group and Ron Schiller served as consultants on the search.

About Jill Elder

Jill Elder most recently served as the Vice President, Distinguished Partners, at the American Cancer Society North Central Region, serving communities in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. As the distinguished partner leader, she was responsible for developing and executing regional and national strategy in corporate account management, distinguished events, and major gifts. Jill led a team of 44 professionals to engage individuals, corporations, and foundations in partnering with the American Cancer Society in leading the fight for a world without cancer. Jill’s team raised more than $23 million through its events, corporate, and major gifts portfolio. Jill served on the Region Leadership Team, which comprises the senior-most staff of the American Cancer Society North Central Region.

Jill began her nearly 20-year career with the Society as a field representative responsible for community-based fundraising, advocacy, and mission delivery efforts. Throughout her tenure, she has demonstrated significant success in cultivating strong donor and volunteer partnerships to increase revenue and expand the Society’s network of supporters. As Vice President of Corporate and Distinguished Partners, Jill led the distinguished events team responsible for the Lakeshore Division’s $5.3 million gala portfolio, which included the highly successful Chicago Discovery Ball and Detroit Cattle Baron’s Ball. In addition, she directed a $10 million corporate partnership portfolio and was instrumental in managing and stewarding several national accounts, including a long-standing relationship with General Motors and Chevrolet.

Jill is a graduate of Leadership Detroit and Michigan State University. She resides in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with her husband and three children.

About the DSO

Hailed by The New York Times as “cutting edge,” the internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and an ardent commitment to Detroit. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called “America’s Music Director” by the Los Angeles Times, became the DSO’s 12th Music Director, endowed by the Kresge Foundation, in 2008. Acclaimed conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik serves as Principal Pops Conductor, while celebrated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the Detroit community, the DSO’s performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People’s, and Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with high profile artists from Steven Spielberg to Ben Folds and Lang Lang. In July 2017, the DSO embarked on its first international tour in 16 years, making its debut in China and first visit to Japan in 19 years. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast, and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, one of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.



For Press Inquiries, please contact:

Ben Breuninger
Public Relations Coordinator
bbreuninger@dso.org | 313.576.5196