Expressing Your Concern To Interlochen

A great number of concerned Interlochen alumni and supporters have written asking me what I think they should do: "Should I write a letter? Should I make phone calls? Should I just keep quiet?"  As a result of those many requests, I have put together a contact list of the Interlochen Trustees and Alumni Council and a template letter to help you get started.

I would also stress that everyone should do what they feel most comfortable doing regarding contacting Interlochen.  Personally, I will send letters to members of the board of trustees and to the alumni council expressing my concerns as an alumnus over the directions Interlochen is heading based on the actions of the new administration.

I’ve always believed that any constituency base should keep in contact with the organizations they care about as much as possible.   The stewards of these organizations, the board members, have a right to unfiltered opinion from the community they serve.   If you don’t let them know how you feel and what you plan to do as a result of your opinions, then they cannot effectively govern the organization.

The following letter may be used by anyone as a template for contacting Interlochen trustees and Alumni Council representatives.  Everyone may make any alterations to this letter as they see fit or use it "as is".  Regardless of your opinion, let them know how you feel and what you think   good governance depends on it. Please remember to be polite and concise; avoid highly emotional statements or condemnations that recipients may interpret as personal attacks.

To transfer the text to a word processor or email program, highlight the text and copy to your clipboard (either ctl+c, or edit then select copy, or right click then select copy) and then paste it to the program (either ctl+v, or edit then select paste, or right click then select paste). I would like to thank a concerned alumnus and parent for sending me a copy of the letter she sent to the Trustee chair expressing her concerns. Much of the letter below is from her original text and used with her permission.

Mr. Jeffrey Kimpton
President, Interlochen Center for the Arts
P.O. Box 199
Interlochen, Michigan 49643-0199

Dear Mr. Kimpton

I am deeply disturbed and saddened by the recent actions taken by you and members of your senior staff.  The termination of over 40 faculty members, many who were key ingredients to the heart, soul and most importantly, the continued success of the camp for more than 40 years, is viewed by many loyal alumni and supporters as an act of humiliation and disregard for highly esteemed and capable camp professionals.  Many of these people are integral to the reason why individuals like myself and my family members have been coming back year after year, recommending students to Interlochen’s programs, and making financial contributions.

We understand that it is important to have an innovative, vital and financially sound Interlochen in order to ensure the survival of the camp and continue the great vision and work that Joseph Maddy started and many Presidents who have succeeded him have strived to embrace. We also appreciate, as highly educated and successful individuals in the wide range of professional fields in which we reside, that changes have to be instituted in order to adapt to the evolving education environment, consumption habits, schedules, financial constraints, etc. of the world in which we live.

However, I feel that terminating individuals in such an insensitive and careless fashion is not the way to respond to the growing demands and needs of the camp.  These individuals are critical to the core spirit that have made Interlochen such a special, miraculous and successful institution for thousands of people over the decades, and are intrinsically part of the formula that ties us to each returning summer. 

Your actions have required me to cease making donations and recommending students to your programs. We’re even rethinking whether or not we want to include Interlochen in our wills.  Your actions may have a much more negative financial impact than you anticipated and may be more costly than the gains you hoped to achieve in your quest for a balanced budget at all costs.

For those of us who are alumni and have the rich tradition of Interlochen in our blood, we ask ourselves "Are President Kimpton’s actions representative of those who understand why Interlochen has endured as it has since the 1920’s, and is this the best course of action towards ensuring its continued innovation and status as the premier fine arts camp in this country?"  I answer this question with a resounding "No", and my actions are designed to make you understand the importance of that response.

Working at Interlochen is a privilege and those talented professionals who have been working there for many years with dedication and heart and with little financial remuneration, who have been told their services are no longer required, know this better than anyone.

Sincerely,

cc:   Interlochen board of Trustees
       Interlochen Alumni Council

The following is a list of Interlochen contacts and Trustee members, email addresses are provided where available:

Alumni Resources:

 

David Rhind
President, Interlochen Alumni Council

641 W. Willow St. Apt. 139

Chicago

,

Illinois

60614-5172

david.rhind@hhgroup.com

Alumni

Office

Interlochen

Center

for the Arts

P.O. Box 199

Interlochen

,

MI

49643-0199

alumni@interlochen.org

Interlochen Board of Trustees   executive members

 

Chair of the Board
Gerald B. Fischer
President,

University

of

Minnesota

Foundation

200 Oak Street SE, Suite 500

Minneapolis

,

Minnesota

55455-2010

Vice-Chair of the Board
Nancy Bankoff Chalifour
Arts Consultant,

Los Angeles

,

California

1861 Alpine Drive

San Marino

, CA 91108

Vice-Chair of the Board
T. Michael Jackson
Senior Counsel,

Jackson

and Associates
217 6th Street

Traverse City

,

Michigan

 49684

Vice-Chair of the Board
Gary C. Valade
Executive Vice President

Daimler Chrysler Corporation

1000 Chrysler Drive

Auburn Hills

,

Michigan

 

48326-2766

Board Members

 

Karen Wolff
Dean, School of Music
University of Michigan
1100 Baits Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2085

Dean Anderson
Deputy Director (retired)

Woodrow

Wilson

International

Center

for Scholars,

Washington

,

D.C.

 

4834 South 8th Street

Arlington

,

VA

 

22204-1432

Elizabeth R. Bramwell
President

Bramwell Capital Management Inc.

745 Fifth Avenue

New York

,

New York

 

10151

Michael H. Dennos
Executive Vice President (retired), Sara Lee Corporation

12935 West Bayshore Drive

Traverse City

,

Michigan

49684

Christina B. Diver
Community Leader

San Francisco, California
1988 Jackson Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Sandra A. Drew
Community Leader And Music Teacher (retired)

P.O. Box 639

Suttons Bay

,

MI

49682

Janet S. Eilber
Principal Artistic Consultant

The Dana Foundation

526 North Arden Boulevard

Los Angeles

,

California

 

90004

Kenneth C. Fischer
President, University,
Musical Society
Burton Memorial Tower,

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270

Beverly Patterson Frier
Community Leader,

Chicago

,

Illinois

24W035

Donwood Drive

Naperville

,

IL

 

60540

Sheldon Goodman
Investment Executive

North Star Investment Services

950 North Michigan Ave., Apt. 3404

Chicago

,

Illinois

 

60601

Steve Hayden
Vice Chairman

Worldwide Brand Services, IBM
Ogilvy & Mather, Inc.
309 West 49th Street
New York, New York 10019-7399

Melvin J. Hollowell, Jr.
Attorney, Butzel Long PC

150 Jefferson Avenue

Detroit

,

Michigan

 

48226-4416

George R. Kempton
Chairman and CEO (retired)
Kysor Industrial Corporation
7883 Truesdale
Traverse City,

Michigan

 49686

James Gary May
President, Hopewell Land Partners, Ltd.

P.O. Box 112

Winter Haven

,

Florida

 

33882

Myrl D. Nofziger
President, Hoogenboom Nofziger Corp.

PO Box 848

Goshen

,

Indiana

 

46526

Julie Quinn, MD
Past President, Board of Trustees,

Interlochen Pathfinder School

10301

Western Hills Drive

Traverse City

,

Michigan

 49684

Robert H. Radock
Manager of Entertainment,

Walt Disney World Resort
PO Box 10000
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000

Alan E. Schwartz, Attorney
2290

First

National

Building

Detroit

,

Michigan

48226

Phyllis C. Shafer
Muncie Power Products

PO Box 548

Muncie

,

Indiana

47308

Isabel F. Smith
President, Isabel Francis Smith, Ltd.
31884 Northwestern Highway

Farmington Hills

,

Michigan

48334

Louis A. Smith
Attorney at Law, Smith & Johnson
603 Bay Street, PO Box 705
Traverse City, Michigan 49685-0705

James L. Tolley
President, James L. Tolley Company

3959 Somerset Drive

Sarasota

,

Florida

34242-1168

Steve E. Upton
President, Frederick S. Upton Foundation
100

Ridgeway
St

,

Joseph

,

Michigan

49085

Shirley Young
Shirley Young Associates

747 Third Avenue

, 12th Floor

New York

,

NY

10017

Karla H.

Moore

-Maddy (past trustee)

526 W. 14th Street, Suite 251

Traverse City

,

MI

49684

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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