Maryellen Gleason

In her work as a nonprofit leader, Maryellen Gleason has consistently led growth strategies to increase success.  During her decade-long tenure as President and CEO of the Phoenix Symphony, post 9/11, she transformed the organization into a sustainable, well-loved performing arts hub for the greater Phoenix area.  Subsequently, she joined the Milwaukee Syphony as President and Executive Director, following the deep recession of early 2020.   

Earlier she served in several interim capacities including President and CEO for Solve ME/CFS Initiative, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Chief Development Officer at the USC Pacific Asia Museum and Director of Development for the Pasadena Playhouse, as well as the Tournament Director of the GTE North Classic Senior PGA Tour.  

Prior to moving into the nonprofit sector, Gleason was as a top-performing Sales Director for US West Business and Government Solutions, Arizona Branch, which delivered a $300M P & L and a Fortune 100 client list. 

Always challenged to secure resources, Gleason brings a natural talent for solving complex, high-risk organizational problems and has become one of the most sought-after development professionals for her ability to lay out important funding strategies that work.

She is a frequent conference/workshop speaker on subjects ranging from philanthropic impact, engaging volunteers, and developing top fundraising strategies and serves as an instructor at UCLA Extension.  Her board service has included Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra Foundation, Young President’s Organization (YPO) International Networks Committee, and the Harvard Alumni Association, where she serves as a Graduate School Director representing the Extension and Continuing Education Division. Gleason is a past President of the Harvard Club of Phoenix and led a  workshop for the Harvard Alumni Association on Learning from New Alumni Communities. She is a current member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF), YPO and Women Corporate Directors (WCD).  She joined Brimhall & Associates in early 2020.

She holds a B.A. from Harvard University, and an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

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