Joffrey Ballet Taps New Development Director

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 10/28/2013, 05:16pm


With its grand-scale production of “La Bayadere” now over, and rehearsals for its annual holiday season of Robert Joffrey’s “The Nutcracker” about to get underway (with 23 performances slated for Dec. 6-28 at the Auditorium Theatre), the Joffrey Ballet has announced that Sarai Hoffman has joined the executive leadership team as its new Chief Development Officer.

Hoffman brings to the job 20 years of experience in fundraising for some of Chicago’s leading cultural institutions. Most recently she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago (from 2010-2013). Before that she worked at the University of Chicago Lab School (2004-2010), and the School of the Art Institute (1996-2004).

At the Joffrey, Hoffman (who holds a B.F. A. from the University of Utah, with continuing education from the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management), will be responsible for “nurturing the company’s philanthropic culture and developing donors and volunteers to support the organization.” She fills a position that has been vacant for about a year.

Greg Cameron, the Joffrey’s Executive Director, noted: “I have known Sarai for more than 20 years. We worked together at the beginning of our careers, and over the years have developed solid professional and personal friendships. Her career aligns with the Joffrey’s mission. Her work at the School of the Art Institute was all about supporting artists. Her work at the Lab School was focused on education. And her most recent work at the YMCA was dedicated to ensuring that all Chicago children have an opportunity to develop physically, socially and emotionally.  Sarai is creative, smart, and strategic – her love of dance (she took her first ballet class at age five and has been dancing ever since), and her passion for the Joffrey will be central to our growth and transformation.”