Salt Lake businesswoman Deedee Corradini has been elected chairman of the Utah Symphony board, succeeding outgoing chairman Jon M. Huntsman, the board announced Monday.
The announcement followed a one-hour board meeting at which M. Garfield Cook was named vice chairman, the post Corradini has held the past three years. Both appointees, along with a slate of new officers, were selected by the board's nominating committee and approved by the executive committee.Huntsman's departure came as no surprise. In 1985, when he was named to succeed longtime board president Wendell J. Ashton, he announced his intention of serving only a limited time, perhaps one or two years. That was extended to three years in the face of an impending $1 million symphony deficit, disclosed last September.
In recent months, Huntsman, chairman of Huntsman Chemical Corp., has come in for increased media attention on two fronts: (1) when his son was kidnapped and subsequently rescued by FBI agents in an apparent extortion attempt last December, and (2) during his attempt to challenge Gov. Norm Bangerter for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. On April 13, Huntsman withdrew from the race, citing business concerns and a reluctance to further divide the Republican Party.
"It's been a year of great opportunities and blessings, challenges and obstacles," Huntsman said following Monday's announcement, "all in all a year we're grateful for, but I hope it's not repeated."
Among the accomplishments of his term as board chairman, symphony officials cited a strengthening of the orchestra's management (principally through the appointment in 1986 of executive director Paul R. Chummers and, last year, a full-time professional-development director, George Benson); the acquisition of 2,000 new subscribers through telemarketing and a new ad campaign; an increase in the number of donors from 1,000 to 1,700; and an estimated $1.7 million in contributions by the end of fiscal 1987-88, a record dollar amount for the orchestra. "But I don't take much credit for that," Huntsman said. "It's really been a team effort, with me standing in the background watching many professional and gifted players do their jobs."
He added that he and his family anticipate making further contributions to the orchestra, as well as other community organizations.
Corradini, whose appointment as chairman was approved unanimously, is president of Bonneville Associates, a lobbying organization with clients in Washington, D.C. A native of Connecticut who grew up in the Middle East, she holds degrees in psychology from the University of Utah and, since 1983, has served on the board of Utah Power & Light Co., in addition to being active in numerous civic organizations. She is also a member of the board of Intermountain Health Care.
Cook is president of IRECO Inc., a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of explosives. Also a U. graduate, he is a board member of the U.'s National Advisory Council, the Salt Lake Education Foundation and the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Both symphony appointments are for three years.
Corradini said she foresees no immediate changes in the symphony's executive structure. "As Jon says, there's been a real team effort on top, and I see that continuing, with a lot of people doing a lot of work."
She said the orchestra was hurt financially by last October's stock-market plunge and what she described as a "flat" economy. "Now our goal is to eliminate the deficit and start an endowment effort of significant proportions. But we can't do that until we increase the annual giving, and right now that seems a year or two away."
New board members elected at Monday's meeting were Joe Cannon, Malcolm Justice, Robert V. Sanders and Tom Welch.