Debbie Storey and Matrice Ellis-Kirk

photo by Carter Rose

Center Names Debbie Storey President & CEO through December 2020

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Center’s Board Elects Matrice Ellis-Kirk To a Third Term as Chair

The nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center today announced that it is suspending its CEO search, and that its interim leader, Debbie Storey, is assuming the role and title of president and CEO through December of 2020.

“The Center has made so many positive strides in the past nine months,” said Matrice Ellis-Kirk, chair of the AT&T Performing Arts Center Board of Directors. “From the landmark partnership with Dallas Summer Musicals to the growing reach of our community and arts education programs, we are thrilled Debbie agreed to continue serving and ensure this positive momentum continues.”

Ms. Storey, a former AT&T executive, author and motivational speaker stepped out of retirement last May to lead the Center in an interim capacity. She has served on the Center’s board since 2009.

“I am so passionate about what the Center is doing – presenting outstanding and diverse programming, supporting our resident companies and the arts community, and being a gathering place for our community,” said Ms. Storey. “This was not a hard decision to make.”

The AT&T Performing Arts Center also announced that Ms. Ellis-Kirk, a long-time business leader and arts supporter, was elected to a third two-year term as board chair. Ms. Ellis-Kirk is Managing Director at the international talent recruitment firm RSR Partners.

That vote came at today’s Board of Directors meeting. Ms. Ellis-Kirk has served on the Center’s Board of Directors since its inception in 2000, and was first elected board chair in 2015. During her tenure, the Center – working with its banks, the City of Dallas and donors – made tremendous progress toward completing its Capital Campaign and retiring its $151M in construction debt. The Center now has $1.2M remaining to raise.

The Center said the search for a new top executive will resume in 2020, with a goal of having a new leader chosen by the end of that year. Ms. Storey has also agreed to assist during a transition period from January to June of 2021 if needed.

Ms. Storey’s passion for the Center began when she represented AT&T on the Center’s Board of Directors. Ms. Storey spent 34 years at AT&T leading large organizations in various parts of BellSouth and AT&T operations, including four years as Senior Vice President of Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T. Ms. Storey is also the author of Don’t Downsize Your Dreams: Leadership Inspiration for Women. She has been a featured keynote speaker, moderator, and panelist at meetings and conferences throughout the country.

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