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FWSO Picks a New President


by Stephen Becker 28 Jan 2011

On Wednesday, word came that Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Ann Koonsman is retiring after 30 years at the post. And now the FWSO announces that Amy Adkins has been picked to replace her.

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On Wednesday, word came that Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Ann Koonsman is retiring after 30 years at the post. And now the FWSO announces that Amy Adkins has been picked to replace her.  For the last 16 years, Adkins has been the symphony’s Vice President of Development. She’ll take over as president and CEO on Aug. 1.

“I have every reason to be optimistic about the Orchestra’s ongoing and rising success. We have a devoted Board of Directors; a dedicated, passionate staff; exceptionally talented musicians; and an inspiring and dynamic music director,” Adkins said in a news release. “Ann Koonsman leaves behind an incredible legacy, and I look forward to taking the Orchestra to the next phase in its rich history.”

Keep reading for the full news release:

FORT WORTH — Mrs. Sid R. Bass, chairman of the board of directors of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association, today has announced the appointment of Amy Adkins as president-elect of the Association. Adkins will succeed Ann Koonsman as president and CEO of the Association upon Koonsman’s retirement on July 31, 2011.

Adkins has devoted the past 16 years of her career to arts administration and fundraising. Since 2002, she has served as Vice President of Development of the FWSO, during which time she has achieved aggressive fundraising goals approaching $50 million in annual giving, a record in the Orchestra’s history.

“The Board of Directors is thrilled to announce Amy’s appointment as president and CEO,” Bass said. “Her longtime dedication to the Orchestra, her love of music, and her ability to form relationships with key supporters makes her the perfect fit. Amy’s knowledge of orchestral management combined with her superb fundraising talents will ensure that the Orchestra has a bright future.”

“I am deeply honored to become the next president of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra,” Adkins said. “I have every reason to be optimistic about the Orchestra’s ongoing and rising success. We have a devoted Board of Directors; a dedicated, passionate staff; exceptionally talented musicians; and an inspiring and dynamic music director. Ann Koonsman leaves behind an incredible legacy, and I look forward to taking the Orchestra to the next phase in its rich history.”

Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya said, “Amy has done an outstanding job for the Orchestra as Vice President of Development, and I am looking forward to working with her in this new capacity.”

As Vice President of Development, Adkins accomplished record-breaking fundraising results, including an unprecedented 42 percent increase in both corporate sponsorships and foundation giving. She oversaw winning campaigns such as the drive to fund the Orchestra’s 2008 Carnegie Hall tour and managed the first $1 million Gala in 2006 honoring Van Cliburn. Under her exemplary leadership and tenacious fundraising, the FWSO greeted more than a dozen new sizable corporate sponsorships from companies including Alcon, Bank of Texas, Frank Kent Cadillac, Teletouch-Hawk Electronics, JPMorgan Chase, North Texas Audi Dealers, and XTO Energy, while forging deeper relationships with longtime supporters.

Adkins was responsible for creating innovative and successful fundraising initiatives such as Painted Violins, “Maestro for a Day,” and Vivace!, the Orchestra’s young patrons group that now boasts more than 150 members. She established a robust donor stewardship plan with numerous recognition programs and events such as the annual Maestro’s Luncheon and the Centurion Society. Adkins also has plans in place to launch BRAVO, a musician sponsorship program, in the coming months.

Music education is a passion for Adkins. Twelve years of piano study led to her first career teaching music in Duncanville, Texas, followed by three years as Education Coordinator at the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in the mid-90s. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with a specialization in music from Texas Tech University. Prior fundraising experience included work for Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration Fort Worth and Business Volunteers for the Arts.

Adkins’ husband of 18 years, Alton Adkins, has performed as Co-Associate Principal Horn with the FWSO since 1993. Aside from her love of music, Ms. Adkins enjoys exercise, travel, and spending time with her two sons, Jacob, 13 and Benjamin, 9.

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