Nancy J. Preis joined the staff of Opera in the Ozarks in 2015 as General Director.
She holds a Ph.D. in Accounting and Finance from the University of Michigan and has had an impressive career in both academia and business. Her passion is opera, however, and she currently serves as the volunteer chief financial officer, marketing manager and occasional costume manager with the St. Petersburg Opera Company in Florida.
She was an associate professor at the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University in New York City. She was subsequently a vice president of Kleinwort Benson N.A., a British merchant banking company. She was part of leveraged buyout team and specialized in middle market investment analysis. She moved to Florida to take over the management of a small electric motor company. Through acquisitions, she put together a group of specialty manufacturing companies. The companies design and manufacture components for transportation, industrial, medical and military applications. She grew those companies to their present size of nearly 150 employees with revenues in excess of $15 million (from $200,000 at the time of her hiring).
She became involved in The Florida Orchestra first as a season ticket holder and later as a board member. She became friends with one of its principal musicians, a bassoonist, who later founded the St. Petersburg Opera. From modest beginnings ten years ago, the opera company now produces five mainstage productions a year and has an annual budget of nearly $1 million. It was her vision that led the company to purchase and raise the money for a production facility where all opera operations other than major performances take place. The St. Petersburg Opera experience has given Dr. Preis a substantial amount of expertise in artistic management, fund raising and grant writing, all of which are skills which are important for the Opera in the Ozarks’ General Director.
Dr. Preis is enthusiastic about Opera in the Ozarks. “I love working with singers, musicians and creative people – what could be better than the opportunity to make great music and develop great musicians except to put it all together in the original multi-media production?”