Strategic Planning: September 10 Teleseminar

In Featured, OVI, Teleseminar by Barb2 Comments

Missions, Visions, Decisions in Strategic Planning

Time: 8pm Eastern, 7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5pm Pacific


Lawrence Gelburd – Consultant, teacher

OVI brings you another in our series of seminars  designed to make your support group efforts more effective – so break out the notepad, put the phone on speaker and buckle up. You can bet that Lawrence Gelburd will dispense practical, logical and effective strategies for moving your organization forward in challenging economic times, and do it with humor and infectious energy, something those of us who attended his workshop in Philadelphia saw first hand.

Gelburd and his special guests will discuss what companies and support groups have done or are doing to adapt and stay afloat in this economy; and the consequences of NOT having well-considered strategic plans, real leadership, good governance practices and the willingness to make tough choices.

Lawrence Gelburd is a sought-after consultant and teacher, frequently contributing to broadcast and on-line media. He is a lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is on the Small Business Board of The Huffington Post.

He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Brown University. He then joined four other entrepreneurs to form American Auto-Matrix (AAM), which raised over $7 million in venture capital and employed more than 80 people. AAM developed and sold control systems for commercial and industrial facilities directly and through domestic and international distributors. Barber-Colman, United Technologies and Mitsui chose to sell AAM products as their own.

Lawrence worked as an engineer, manager, product planner and director of national and international accounts. He was a member of the ASHRAE committee, which created ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2001, BACnet, now approved as ISO 16484-5 and CEN 16484-5.

Lawrence, WG’91, is a lecturer at the Wharton School, teaching Management 230: Entrepreneurship and Management 406: Formation and Implementation of Entrepreneurial Ventures and EAS 545: Engineering Entrepreneurship.

At the Wharton Small Business Development Center, he teaches The First Step and Strategic Business Planning workshops. He also teaches at Leadership in the Business World (LBW), a summer institute for a talented and select group of rising high school seniors, sponsored by the Wharton School. He is also an independent management consultant and an accomplished record producer, working with Grammy winner Phil Nicolo.

Collaborating with a faculty team at Wharton and the American University of Cairo, Lawrence helped create the curriculum for Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women initiative, which develops entrepreneurship programs in emerging markets. He also reviewed the curriculum for Goldman’s 10,000 Small Businesses program.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to MSNBC’s show “Your Business” and is a member of AOL’s Small Business Board of Directors along with Sir Richard Branson and others. Lawrence has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Time, Money, Inc., Entrepreneur, and numerous other publications. He has been engaged as a speaker by many organizations including American Express.

Lawrence is committed to consulting and teaching as rewarding opportunities to lead others towards the excitement and personal growth that entrepreneurship affords.

Ernest Auerbach – President, Board of Trustees & Former Interim General Director, at Austin Lyric Opera

Ernest Auerbach currently serves as president of the Austin Lyric Opera.

He is a retired corporate general manager who held senior positions in the US and overseas with Xerox, CIGNA, New York Life Insurance International and AIG. He started and led the insurance practice for Andersen Consulting in Mexico.

He is the author of three books and has written numerous articles for the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

He currently writes a column for the University of Texas Business publication, Enterprise. He is a retired army officer and lives with his wife in Austin, Texas.

David Devan, General Director, Opera Company of Philadelphia

David B. Devan was appointed as General Director of the Opera Company of Philadelphia in 2011. He joined the company in January 2006 following an extensive North American search to identify a managing director to oversee all income-generating departments as well as board development and community programs. In 2009, he was appointed as Executive Director before assuming his current leadership role.

Since his arrival, Mr. Devan has worked closely with board and administration on strategic planning initiatives and building partnerships within the community and the opera world. Key achievements include the establishment of the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater, an extremely popular and highly-subscribed opera series at the Kimmel Center’s intimate 550-seat Perelman Theater that showcases appropriately scaled work, now in its fourth season; and the establishment of the nation’s first ever collaborative Composer In Residence Program with New York partners Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group, a comprehensive program funded by a $1.4 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, designed to foster the growth of tomorrow’s great operatic composers.

Under his leadership, OCP has co-commissioned three new works, Dark Sisters, by Nico Muhly and Stephen Karam, co-commissioned with OCP’s Composer In Residence partners; Oscar, based on the life of Oscar Wilde and written by Theodore Morrison and John Cox, co-commissioned with The Santa Fe Opera; and Cold Mountain, based on the best-selling novel by Charles Frazier and written by Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer, also co-commissioned with The Santa Fe Opera.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia has also achieved a balanced financial position and received a major grant in 2011 from The Kresge Foundation to help beginning to fund institutional capitalization.

Mr. Devan came to Philadelphia from Pacific Opera Victoria, where he held the position of Executive Director from 1997 through 2005. During his tenure at Pacific Opera Victoria the company’s budget increased by 150%. His accomplishments include maintaining accumulated surpluses and increasing the company’s annual giving more than threefold; establishing a successful endowment campaign strategy; and achieving strong subscription sales while pursuing an artistically-innovating program.

Prior to his work with Pacific Opera Victoria, Mr. Devan spent four years as the Director of Marketing and Development for Opera Ontario; worked as the Performing Arts Marketing Head for the Harbourfront Centre; and served for three seasons as Marketing Director for the Canadian Opera Company.

He has served on the Board of Directors for Opera America and as Chairman of the Board for Opera CA (Canada), the national associations for opera companies. He has also previously held leadership positions with the Pro Art Alliance of Greater Victoria, and Arts Action BC, two groups focused on advocacy and government funding for the arts. A native of Canada, Mr. Devan attended Brock University in Ontario and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business Executive Program.

An active member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and for Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts, Mr. Devan shares, “Since my arrival in Philadelphia, I have felt privileged to serve an arts institution with such a strong, vibrant constituency, in a city with rich and diverse cultural roots. We look forward to our continued success in maintaining opera as an important part of our community.”


  1. It was a terrific teleconference workshop! Thank you to the three panelists and to Opera Volunteers for putting it together. We at Annapolis Opera are looking forward to using some of the ideas discussed.

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