20 Under 40: Elissa Greene is driven by passion for music
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — If you asked Elissa Greene 12 years ago if she pictured herself leading the Strings Music Festival into its 31st season as the executive director, her answer would’ve been never.
“I would’ve never seen myself in this role,” she said. “But now it all seems to make sense, and I can’t see it happening any other way. My background in music as a performer has helped prepare me for this job.”
When: 5 to 7 p.m. July 26
Where: Haymaker Patio Grill
Cost: $35, $15 for Young Professionals Network members
Since she was 5 years old, when Strings opened its Pavilion doors in 1988, she’s been a part of the summertime fanfare. Heavily involved with her family, especially in those early years of the festival, she attended kids’ music camps, worked the box office and backstage and other jobs.
After graduating from Colorado College with a degree in music, Greene decided to come back to Steamboat for awhile to determine her next step. She also has a background in music as a performer, which she says helped prepare her for this job.
Then, when Strings had an opening in 2007 in advertising and development, she started full time. In 2015, Strings co-founder Kay Clagett retired, resulting in Greene being offered the position of executive director.
In her new role, Greene founded the Strings School Days program, the region’s largest music education program. It is in its 11th year and reaches over 3,000 students in the Yampa Valley.
Greene is also on the United Way board and a member of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs. She continues to inspire young cello studios with her cello studio and plays occasionally in the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra.
“She has mentored and built a strong team at Strings with interest and emphasis on her staff’s professional development and personal job satisfaction,” said Katie Carroll, Strings director of artistic administration and education.
Greene said her advice to young professionals in Steamboat is to always ask for help.
“There are so many great resources here,” Greene said. “Specifically, there are so many women to look up to in this town, especially in the nonprofit world. I’m grateful for the people who have provided support along the way to help me be a better nonprofit leader. I hope to give back to other young professionals through my experience and continue to learn from this community.”
A driving motivator for her is the desire to live in a community where every kid and adult has exposure to music of the highest quality.
“Strings is such a special part of this community, and it’s been my honor to continue the hard work of those before me,” she said.
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