Society for the Performing Arts Names Leslie Nelson as Interim CEO

Management Consultants for the Arts to lead national search for new CEO

Leslie Nelson
Courtesy of Society for the Performing Arts.

HOUSTON, May 16, 2018 – Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) announced today that Chief Financial Officer Leslie Nelson has been named the interim Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit organization, effective June 30. Long-time SPA CEO and President June Christensen’s last day with the organization will be June 29.

“We have the utmost faith and confidence in Leslie to lead the organization during this time of transition,” said SPA Board Chair Theresa Einhorn. “On behalf of the board of directors, we thank June for her dedicated leadership and commitment to SPA over the last 25 years. We are grateful for her service and the impact she has had on the city’s arts community.”

Management Consultants for the Arts (MCA) has been tapped to lead the national search for Christensen’s replacement.  Christensen, who joined SPA in 1989 and was promoted to her current position in 2007, announced her impending retirement in February.

“SPA brings tremendous artistic talent to enrich the greater Houston community, and over her tenure, June has been a significant part of elevating SPA into a well-recognized and respected presenting arts organization,” said Nelson, incoming interim CEO. “I am honored to be asked to step in and lead the organization as our board conducts its search, and I am excited to have the opportunity to serve in this role.”

An experienced and highly-regarded executive with a life-long passion for the performing arts, Nelson joined SPA in January 2016 as Chief Financial Officer.  She is a native Houstonian and holds a BA in English from the University of Texas and an MBA in Finance from the University of Houston. Nelson is an active board member of several nonprofit organizations, including American Red Cross and American Leadership Forum. She also serves as a member of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Executive Women’s Partnership and the Junior League of Houston.

About Society for the Performing Arts

Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, SPA has sponsored more than 1,000 performances of the world’s finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within the community. In addition to presenting artists, SPA seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.