Thinking about the in-depth conversations at Conference 2022.

By Jim Houghton, Chief Financial Officer, New Jersey Symphony

My first League of American Orchestras Conference was an amazing whirlwind three days! 

After coping with the myriad uncertainties thrown at the orchestra world by the COVID pandemic during my first two years as New Jersey Symphony’s CFO, I was so glad to finally meet many of my colleagues from our community in one place. 

We all share common experiences, and learning from and sharing with others is probably the greatest value this Conference brought to me. I got to spend multiple hours with my fellow CFOs and finance professionals, and we learned an incredible amount from each other about accounting and cash management, technology usage, and much more that us accountant types care deeply about. 

But of course, each discipline attending Conference had their own constituency groups, and I also learned much by meeting together with the marketing group. Then there were the very informative and focused group sessions – sometimes too many of interest to choose from! 

Financially-focused sessions were great, but so also were very thought-provoking sessions on such topics as workforce retention and public/private partnerships for large capital projects. 

And finally, there were the concerts, speakers, and fun! We all had a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a talk back between John Williams and Gustavo Dudamel in person and we learned from their brilliance. We had the opportunity to hear the LA Phil not once but twice in two amazing venues – Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Also, hearing the incredible YOLA in concert brought tears to my eyes. They personify the future and promise we all strive for. Partying in the Walt Disney Concert Hall after the concert was a blast, too! All in all, this Conference was educational, inspiring, thought provoking and energizing. Can’t wait for next year’s edition.

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