Pacific Chorale board members selected Laguna Beach City Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson to head the choral organization, the nonprofit's chairman said Monday.
"The goal was to select a qualified candidate from Orange County," Pacific Chorale Chairman Martin Hubbard said. "One of our board members [Vina Williams] knows Elizabeth well" and recommended her for the position among a pool of three candidates.
Hubbard said Pearson's background in promotions was a key determinant in the decision.
"One of our weaknesses in the past 45 years is the area of marketing, how we present ourselves to the community," Hubbard said.
"She is a clear thinker and clear talker."
A phone message was left for Pearson on Monday.
According to a statement in a press release, Pearson is excited for the move.
"As someone who appreciates classical music, I am looking forward to building greater support for this internationally renowned organization," she said. "I believe this presents a growth opportunity both for the Chorale and for me."
Pearson's first day will be May 1. She was the Laguna Playhouse's director of development and served as foundation executive director and marketing director of South Coast Medical Center. She has also helped raise funds as a consultant for several Orange County organizations including the Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Clubs, the Laguna Beach Seniors and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn.
Kelly Ruggirello, Pacific Chorale's previous president, stepped down to become executive director for the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.
Pacific Chorale began in 1968 and conducts a performance season at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. The nonprofit is composed of 140 professional and volunteer singers.