Beth Schecter, Interim Executive Director
Dear Parents, Alums, and Members of the San Francisco Girls Chorus, It has been such a pleasure to work with all the people who make the San Francisco Girls Chorus so successful. I’ve enjoyed meeting the parents, the girls, the Board and of course the wonderful staff.
When the opportunity came to me to be the Interim Executive Director at the SF Girls Chorus, I was quite surprised. I had never run a performing arts organization, although I have always had a resounding interest in all forms of arts. I have served on the board of two theater organizations in San Francisco, Z Space and Counterpulse, for a total of 8 years. I have a son who lives in NYC and is a professional actor, who attended the Tisch graduate acting program and has been in Broadway shows several times.
I have a mother who is a painter and also performed in community theater when I was a child. I myself started my college years as an art major and dabbled in all sorts of arts and crafts – ceramics, jewelry-making, painting. In my immediate family you will find many creative people who are artists and musicians, including my husband, who plays jazz and salsa keyboard when he isn’t seeing clients as a psychologist.
But I took another path in my career, that of empowering people to make good health decisions in their lives, following a public health approach known as the “health belief model,” still used today to understand people’s motivations for the health decisions they make. My interests were primarily related to youth and how to ensure that young people stay healthy through their choices as well as through the protective mechanisms that surround them in the communities – their schools, families, and service providing organizations. I have written parenting curricula, planned youth delinquency and drug prevention programs, run a rape crisis center and managed mental health and child abuse programs, both nationally and locally. But my skills quickly emerged as a nonprofit executive director, someone able to get things done with the right teams and policy makers, and something I have been doing since 1992.
The SF Girls Chorus was a perfect place for me to land. I understand and feel deeply about the importance of positive role models for youth, opportunities for success and mastery leading to healthy youth development, and the necessity of building strong communities, organizations and families to support our young people. Those are my underpinnings and what drives me toward helping others. For me, there is nothing more exciting than supporting programs that build character and a strong sense of self-worth and efficacy, particularly in young women. The SF Girls Chorus is a jewel in the crown of social and youth services in the Bay Area and I have been proud to be part of it for short while. Hopefully the knowledge I have contributed about organizational health will help to propel the chorus forward on its next leg of a successful and creative journey. It has been a joyful experience working with so many dedicated and talented adults and children while serving as the Interim Executive Director. I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity.
Beth Schecter Interim Executive Director