Indianola, Iowa— Des Moines Metro Opera announced today that Ellen Diehl of Ankeny, IA has been named to the position of Director of Advancement and Operations for the company beginning January 6. Most recently, Diehl has served as the Director of Annual Giving and Events at the Mercy Foundation since 2006 where she developed and coordinated an annual fundraising campaign known as Spirit of Mercy for Mercy Foundation. Prior to the Mercy Foundation, Diehl has experience with a number of Non-Profit organizations including Friendship Haven, a Fort Dodge Continuing Care Retirement Community, Main Street Fort Dodge, and March of Dimes. She was also the Executive Director of the Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce from 1992 to 2002. At Friendship Haven, Ms. Diehl successfully led a $1.4 million capital campaign as part of a $27 million revitalization project. While the Executive Director of the Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce, she led a county wide public relations initiative to reverse a decision by the Federal Trade Commission to close a local plant, saving more than 400 jobs. Her arts experience includes a degree in Communicative Arts including theatre and speech from Westmar College, she is also a graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management.
As the Director of Advancement and Operations, she will, in conjunction with General and Artistic Director Michael Egel, plan, direct, and oversee fundraising and administrative functions for Des Moines Metro Opera, including development, administration, marketing and technology. Her wealth of fundraising experience makes her the ideal candidate to lead and manage the company’s efforts to raise an annual budget in excess of $2 million through the implementation of an annual development strategy. Ms. Diehl will begin with Des Moines Metro Opera on January 6 and will join the company in the middle of their 42nd season, which opens on June 27 and runs through July 20, 2014 and will feature Verdi’s La Traviata, Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Rossini’s Le Comte Ory.
Des Moines Metro Opera, founded in 1973, is an independent, non-profit, professional opera company dedicated to bringing world-class opera productions and vital performing arts education to central Iowa. In addition to providing mainstage productions, Des Moines Metro Opera is responsible for OPERA Iowa Educational Touring Troupe, which brings opera to classrooms across Iowa and to nearly 24,000 students, OPERAtion Opera Community Outreach Program, which works with more than 30 human service agencies to provide opera to underserved and at-risk audiences, the Apprentice Artist Program, one of the largest singer-training programs in the country, and two new programs: The Design and Production Internship Program, a training program for students within the theater arts who wish to expand experience and gain the skills necessary for a successful professional career; and Raising Voices – Rising Stars program which gives high school musicians the opportunity to explore career opportunities from the rare vantage point within a professional opera company.