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Phoenix Symphony Appoints New Officers

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The Phoenix Symphony has found an interim president and CEO as well as a new general manager.

Jim Ward, a former advertising and video game business executive who recently spearheaded an unsuccessful campaign for congress, has been named interim president and CEO. And following a six-month search, Andrew Kipe, former executive director and general manager of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, is now the Phoenix Symphony's general manager.

Both appointments took effect yesterday. New Times' request for comment was not returned.

Ward replaces former president and CEO Maryellen H. Gleason, who announced in late October that she was leaving her post for a similar gig at the Milwaukee Symphony. (Gleason's last day at the Phoenix Symphony was December 18.) Last year, Ward ran on the Republican ticket in Arizona's 5th congressional district, losing in the primary to David Schweikert, who went on to defeat Democratic incumbent Harry Mitchell in November.

Kipe succeeds Jay Good as Phoenix Symphony's general manager. Aside from his experiences with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Kipe has held upper-level positions at the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra.

Which is good news, since we can't find any evidence that Ward's got much experience (if any) running a large non-profit, let alone involvement with anything more culture-based than video games.

The symphony also reelected, for a third term, C.A. Howlett as board chair and reinstated several other board members, including treasurer and secretary, for the remainder of their annual terms.

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