Chamber Music Festival Names New Executive Director

Leslie Rae SchmitzThe Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is pleased to announce the appointment of Leslie Rae Schmitz to Executive Director effective April 1, 2015. Most recently, Leslie worked with the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle as Director of Education/Membership/Pilot Funding with the Institute of Translational Health Sciences. Her responsibilities included overseeing a team of operations managers, technology managers and financial analysts, working together with faculty and administrators to deliver education and training events and programs.
 
Upon receiving the news of her appointment, Leslie said “I have great respect for this organization and the people who have created such success. I look forward to joining the Festival going forward.”

Her life-long attachment to Orcas Island began as a YMCA Camp Orkila camper, then as a staff member for ten years. She has been a full and part-time resident of Orcas Island since 1999 and held consulting appointments with OPAL Community Land Trust, San Juan County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services, Orcas Island Parks & Recreation, San Juan Island Community Foundation and Frontline Call Center. Her husband Brian works for the Washington State Ferry system and they have a daughter, Vivian. 

OICMF Board President Sam Coleman welcomed Leslie saying, “During her interview conversation times, Leslie has shown the warmth of her personality. She’s a people person as well as a skilled manager.” 

Leslie holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. She began her career in Washington, D.C. as the Special Assistant to the Senior Vice President for National Security Policy for Science Applications International Corporation. Her work with the U.S. Department of Energy/Defense Programs to restructure and realign national security programs and infrastructure at the end of the Cold War led to the receipt of the Hammer Award for Reinventing Government, awarded by Vice President Al Gore. 

Leslie’s expertise as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) has involved the successful management of events, programs and projects involving distributed work teams on local, national and international levels. She has provided operations, event and project management leadership and oversight in a myriad of sectors, including  foundations, non-profit, technology, medical research, academia, capital improvements, human resources, financial and government.