Sari Pessah

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Relevant Experience

Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Special Events, The Public Theater
New York, NY – March 2004 – September 2005
Responsible for the planning and execution of all Public Theater events as well as maintenance of corporate sponsor relationships.

  • Worked with development team to implement successful annual outdoor gala dinner in Central Park - $1.5 million raised in 2005. Managed event budgets, developed timeline, produced all printed materials, liaisoned with consultant team, supervised event staff, volunteers and security. Oversaw vendor relationships, pledge collection and production of acknowledgment letters.
  • Managed all aspects of six to eight Opening Night celebrations per year including development of budgets, production of invitations, catering and facility procurement, acquisition of liquor sponsorships, coordination of invitation and guest lists.
  • Oversaw donor cultivation parties, celebration events, board meetings and donor recognition events.
  • Orchestrated “Delacorte Investor” program. Solicited corporations and law firms to sponsor Shakespeare in the Park performances. Managed sponsor pre-performance dinner events.
  • Partnered with major financial institution to produce annual “Leadership Day” in conjunction with Shakespeare in the Park. Hosted 1300 school children at outdoor Delacorte Theater for summer event featuring Shakespeare in the Park performances, panel discussion and educational games.
  • Coordinated corporate sponsor solicitation efforts. Managed sponsor research, outreach and development of corporate benefit packages. Ensured that organization remained compliant with all corporate sponsorship contracts.

Manager, Events and Technology, Arts & Business Council Inc.
New York, NY – September 1996 – March 2004

Served dual role as the Council’s Major Events Planner and the Management Information Systems Manager.

Event Responsibilities:

Annual Encore Awards Luncheon, Event Manager – managed all aspects of respected community luncheon for 400 attendees.

  • Created event budget and income projections.

  • Collaborated with CEO on developing event fundraising strategies. Played key role in preparing, disseminating and following up on corporate sponsorship requests.

  • Generated copy for all print materials. Oversaw design and mailing.

  • Managed award nomination procedure. Assembled jury and manage selection and
    notification process.

  • Secured facility/catering, technical and support personnel.

  • Secured entertainment, presenters and speakers.

  •  Developed event and speaker protocols, prepped event staff and volunteers.

  • Supervised event and awards presentation.

  • Provided comprehensive budget reports evaluating the successes and challenges of the event.

MetLife Foundation Forum Series, Producer – Managed successful local arts issue forum series.

  • Managed all aspects of each event, including: budgeting, scheduling, printing, facility procurement, panelist briefing, public relations and marketing.

  • Developed forum topics and identify potential speakers.

  • Served as primary staff liaison to the forum sponsor.

  • Worked with media outlets to bring forums to cable television.

National MetLife Foundation Forums, National Coordinator – Oversee National forum series in nine cities via Council’s National Affiliate Network. 

  •  Developed structure and secured grant to replicate New York series in additional markets.

  • Produced marketing and public relations materials.

  • Worked with affiliate organizations to ensure consistency and quality of events. 

  • Oversaw affiliates to ensure that forum series meets sponsor public relations objectives.

  • Acquired necessary data from affiliate organizations for funder reports.

  • Designed and maintained interactive web page featuring forum summaries. 

  • Created, edited and published national annual report and monograph.

Annual Gala Dinner, Staff Manager

  • Created event structure and oversee all aspects of entertainment production.

  • Supervised event staff. Oversaw all volunteer tasks.

  • Oversaw vendor relationships including design and printing.

  • Managed glass artists engaged to commission original awards.

  • Directed videographer in the production of short film celebrating gala honoree.

  • Acquired “gift bag” items, raffle prizes and ticket giveaways.

Technology Responsibilities:

  • Maintained organization’s computer network and systems.

  • Created and maintained website.

  • Served as database manager.

Marketing and Public Relations Management Assistant, WQED FM

Pittsburgh, PA - September 1995 - August 1996

Served as Public Service Coordinator. Organized and conducted listener contests and promotions. Marketed two original radio series, “Everyday Science” and “Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra”. Assisted in the implementation of special events such as live feeds and pledge drives. Constructed new marketing database. Assisted in creation WQED FM World Wide Web site.


Computer Skills

Microsoft Office, HTML, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Quark Express, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft FrontPage, Raiser’s Edge, GiftMaker Pro


Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy & Management / College of Fine Arts
Master of Arts Management, May 1996
Highest Distinction
W.W. Cooper Merit Scholarship

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Bachelor of Science, May 1992
Dean’s List

Selected Activities

New York State Council on the Arts – Presenting Program Web Initiative – Panelist – March 2001 – 2004 

Makor – “f–stop Makor” – displayed original photography in annual show – March – April 2003

Alliance for the Arts – Cultural Alliance Database – Partners Advisory Team – August 2001 – March 2004 

160 Lincoln Place Owners Corporation – Board of Directors – Brooklyn, NY – May 2000 – Present

Arts Alliance E-Institute for Leadership – Joint program of The Alliance of New York State Arts Organizations and Cornell University – January – June 2001

New York Foundation for the Arts Circuits Conference – Speaker – May 1998


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Last modified: 01/08/06