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RPO Announces New Board Members

For Immediate Release: November 1, 2013
Media Contacts:  Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, [email protected], @PR4Arts
RPO Info:,,,


Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Directors announces that it has appointed six new members to serve through the RPO’s annual meeting in January, when they will be on the slate for election by the RPO membership: Lauren Dixon, Dr. Steven E. Feldon, Michael B. Millard, Sandra A. Parker and Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld, and as well as returning board member Jim Boucher. In addition, former RPO Board Chair Suzanne D. Welch will join the RPO’s Honorary Board.

Background information: 

Lauren Dixon (Canandaigua) is the owner and chief executive officer of marketing communications firm Dixon Schwabl. Her career began at WHAM TV-13, where she received national awards as an on-air reporter, anchor and co-host. After working as sales manager at WROC TV-8, she founded Dixon Schwabl in 1987. Dixon is a frequent volunteer and currently serves on numerous boards, including Thompson Health Foundation, Ontario ARC, Greater Rochester Enterprise, CMAC, Monroe Community College Foundation, Rochester Business Alliance and United Way of Greater Rochester.

Dr. Steven E. Feldon (Brighton) is chair of Ophthalmology at University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry and founding director of the David and Ilene Flaum Eye Institute. A neuro-ophthalmologist and orbital surgeon, he’s also an inventor of ophthalmic instruments and a scientific investigator. Feldon is the former president of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmic Society, and has served on the boards of the University of Rochester Medical Center and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Michael B. Millard (Geneseo) has been a first vice-president and senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch since 1976, is a published author, and teaches English at SUNY Geneseo. He has served on the boards of Friends of the Rochester Public Library, Geva Theatre Center, Rochester Area Community Foundation and Rochester Philharmonic Fund, Inc., among others, and currently serves on the Highland Hospital Patient Family Advisory Board.

Sandra A. Parker (Pittsford) is president and chief executive officer of the Rochester Business Alliance, a post she has held since 2005. She was instrumental in establishing the RBA as the region’s "Voice of Business," and is a leader in the Unshackle Upstate coalition. Parker is listed as one of Greater Rochester’s Most Influential Women, and won the ATHENA Award in 2002.  A native Rochesterian, she serves on a variety of boards, including the Bank of Castile, Center for Governmental Research, The Community Foundation, Frontier Communications of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester and VisitRochester.

Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld (Pittsford) retired as Professor Emeritus at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology in 2004, and has since served on the boards of the CWNY Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival (current president), Rochester Birding Association, National Council of the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and the Rochester Oratorio Society (Finance Committee), where his wife, Elise, is a longtime singer and previous general manager.

Jim Boucher (Pittsford) has been at Caldwell Manufacturing Company for 30 years, advancing in management positions to his present title of Chairman of the Board after serving five years as President. He returns to the RPO Board after being previously appointed in 2002, elected as Board Chair in 2006 and serving in that capacity until 2009. In addition to being a member of the RPO’s Honorary Board, Boucher has served on the boards of the Rochester Museum and Science Center, Rochester Business Alliance and Southeast YMCA. He has also volunteered in various capacities for the United Way, Wilson Commencement Park and the Boy Scouts of America.

Joining the RPO’s Honorary Board – made up of those who’ve established a record of outstanding service, leadership and character – is Suzanne D. Welch (Rochester), executive director of the Rochester Academy of Medicine. Welch served as RPO Board Chair from 2009-2011, during which time the orchestra recovered from a $750K deficit to balance its budget two years running. Welch retired from Eastman Kodak Company in 2008 as Director of Worldwide Total Compensation and Vice President of Human Resources, before which she was Vice President of Business and Technology Strategy at Corning, Inc.

“I’m so grateful to all of our new, current and former Board members who devote their time, talents and personal resources for the benefit of this orchestra and this community,” says RPO President and CEO Charles Owens. “Last year, our Board and Honorary Board members demonstrated extraordinary leadership by contributing over $1 million to the RPO,  which is more than ten percent of our total annual budget.”

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents up to 150 concerts a year, serving nearly 200,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Notable former music directors include Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman; Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 20-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) – the first position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches 14,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children. The RPO’s 2013-14 season highlights include performing at Carnegie Hall on May 7, 2014, as part of the Spring For Music festival.

Media please note: photos of new/returning board members and staff are available at High-resolution images for Phils concerts are available at; high-res photos for Pops and other concerts are available at More details are available at and upon request. Interviews, as well as photo and footage opportunities, can also be arranged.