Joffrey Ballet names BMO Private Bank exec board chair

July 19, 2013
Crain's Chicago Business
Shia Kapos

Content
The transformation of the Joffrey Ballet continues with the election of Zachary Lazar, president of BMO Private Bank in Illinois and Florida, as the dance company's new board chairman.

He succeeds Jason Tyler, a Northern Trust executive whose term with the dance company is up.

Liz Sharp, a commercial litigation attorney and a founding member of the Joffrey's women's board, has been named president of that group.

Mr. Lazar, who did not immediately return a call to talk about his appointment, oversees the strategic development and delivery of BMO Private Bank's personal wealth management platform to high-net- worth individuals, families and organizations. He's been a Joffrey board member since 2007.

The leadership changes come on the heels of the dance company's naming Greg Cameron, a longtime Chicago fundraiser, as executive director.

“Under Ashley Wheater's artistic leadership, the company has never danced better. I am confident that under Zach and Liz's leadership, the company will flourish administratively as well as artistically — enhancing the Joffrey's national and international reputation,” Mr. Cameron said in a release.

The Joffrey Ballet was founded in New York in 1956 and moved to Chicago in 1995. With much fanfare, it opened its own studios on Randolph Street in 2008.

That was right before the recession gripped discretionary income and created fundraising challenges for the dance company.

Earlier this year, the Joffrey parted ways with former Executive Director Christopher Clinton Conway.

Supporters hope a new administration can invigorate donor interest in the troupe.