News & Notes
One of the things I love most about my professional life is that I get to work with wonderful people and watch them grow and thrive. Okay, not just watch, but help as much as I can, even as I’m learning from them and we’re learning together. Lately, there’s been a lot of growing and thriving around here, and I’m delighted to announce several promotions.
Cory Garfin, who has been part of our team since early 2017, is stepping up from project director to senior project director. This well-earned title shift recognizes Cory’s ever-more-strategic partnerships with clients like the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, MCA Chicago, Cleveland Play House, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and Cornell University, among many others. His restless curiosity and creative use of community-based research methods has helped those cultural organizations widen their sense of possibility and build mutual empathy with new audiences.
No one’s evolution at Slover Linett has been more constant and inspiring than Madeline Smith’s. Maddie started in 2015 as a research coordinator, where she raised that role to an essential part of our process. We happily promoted her to researcher in 2017, then to senior researcher in 2019, all to the benefit of clients such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Donnelley Foundation, Smithsonian Human Origins program, and community innovator Nina Simon’s OF/BY/FOR ALL movement — plus numerous art museums, a category that has become Maddie’s unofficial specialty (SFMOMA, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and others). Now it’s a pleasure to see her take on the role of project director, where she’ll lead these research engagements and become an even more valuable thought-partner to our clients.
If Maddie made the research coordinator role essential a few years ago, Matthew Jenetopulos raised the bar even higher in his short time in that position. Matt joined us in early 2019 and has boosted our data visualization skills, managed our transition to a new, more sophisticated online survey platform, and played crucial roles on complex projects — such as our multi-method audience survey initiative for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). It was only a matter of time before Matt ascended to researcher, and it’s a pleasure to see him take on that challenge now. Not incidentally, Matt continues to perform as a violinist, and his keen, sometimes skeptical eye on the classical music world will continue to be an asset to us and our clients.
None of what we do in the cultural sector would be possible — and none of it would be half as fun — without Ashley Ann Wolfe, who has abundantly earned the “senior” in her new title: senior manager of communications and operations. Ashley has played this dual role with creativity and wisdom since coming to Slover Linett in 2017, and her background and continuing work as a theater artist has deepened our conversations in a hundred ways. Among many transformative undertakings at the firm, Ashley led the development and launch of our new website in early 2019 and helps drive our ongoing DEAI work forward.
All of which has led to new openings on our staff for a researcher and research coordinator. So if you know any great social science folks who want to help the arts & culture sector evolve, send them our way.
On behalf of my senior colleagues, Jen Benoit-Bryan and Tanya Treptow, and all of us on the team, big congratulations to Cory, Maddie, Matt, and Ashley. Here’s to more growth and more challenges together this year and beyond.