A Time of Changes

With the recent rain and some cooler temperatures, it certainly feels like fall has arrived. There’s a back-to-school feeling around here, a feeling of new beginnings. Which makes sense because this month has been a month of changes and new beginnings here at Merola.

The biggest news is the arrival of our new (and first ever) Executive Director, Jean Kellogg. It’s so exciting to have a new face in the office, and to have a new member of the Merola team! Jean’s first week was a hectic one.  It started off with Merola’s Annual meeting which is actually a great way to jump into Merola head first, since the meeting is a chance for the Board to summarize the Merola year for some of our donors (and in this case, for our new Executive Director). It was a fabulous meeting, and a great way for me to look back on the year that just passed and reflect on all the work we’ve done. Phew, it was quite a year! As I was listening to reports on the success of the Spring Benefit, reports on our members’ phenomenal generosity, reports of our great ticket sales this year and much much more, I remembered all the frantic days in the office and fantastic events that made up the past 12 months. I felt really proud to work for Merola, and extremely proud to work with the people I do. Which makes it even more exciting to bring someone new on board. 

Jean’s first week closed with a little party for the Board and staff, which gave us all a chance to welcome her properly. And a chance to say goodbye to Board President Patrick Wilken. Don’t worry, he’s really not going anywhere—he’s just ending his term as President (but that’s been another big change around here lately). We also welcomed our new Board President Donna Blacker at the reception, which is really exciting! See photos from the party here. Of course all this change means there are some adjustments that need to be made, so we’ve been all trying to settle in and adapt as quickly as possible. Even if that means spending the afternoon trying to find a decent lamp for Jean’s new office (luckily we were successful). 

We have so much planned for the coming year (a fantastic Spring Benefit, some amazing operas and, of course, fabulous singing) and I’m so excited to get started on everything. I can’t wait to see what great new changes are yet to come now that we have a (mostly) new team at the helm, but I’m also excited to continue to do what we already do so well. Stay tuned for more information about that Spring Benefit—we’ll be making some big announcements soon! 
And welcome to Merola, Jean! We’re so glad to have you here!