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Springfield Symphony hires new leader for 85th season

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The Springfield Symphony Orchestra has a new leader.

After 13 years as executive director, Janice Bennett retired this summer. Her successor Jennifer Cotner-Jones joined the organization this spring and is now serving at the helm of the nonprofit with an operating budget of $1 million, according to a news release.

"I am truly honored to be the new executive director for one of the best and brightest arts organizations in our region,” Cotner-Jones said the release. “The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is a leader in the arts community and I attribute that to Kyle Wiley Pickett, our visionary music director, the board, staff and the wonderfully talented musicians. We are all dedicated to musical excellence, commitment to community and expanding our financial strength."

Cotner-Jones has 20 years of nonprofit experience including work fundraising, event planning, volunteer recruitment, marketing and donor relations. According to her LinkedIn profile, she most recently held the role of public relations and events coordinator at Aaron Sachs & Associates PC. Before that, she served in fundraising roles at the Ozarks Regional YMCA, American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association.

Bennett worked at the Springfield Symphony for 31 years in various roles. She took the top job in 2006. According to the nonprofit’s latest tax filings, Bennett earned an annual base salary of $63,645. Cotner-Jones’ compensation was undisclosed.

The Springfield Symphony’s 85th season begins Sept. 21 with “New York Night” at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

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