The six join the 12 executives from former president Michael Kaiser’s tenure. They oversee a staff of 1,500.
“The fact is when you have a new leader there is change,” Rutter said in an interview Friday. “The people who are joining us are exceptional professionals. To combine fresh faces with people with long tenures, everybody benefits from that.”
In addition to hiring, Rutter has reorganized the administration. Andrews, for example, is vice president of public relations. Her predecessor, John Dow, who announced his resignation last fall, was vice president of press.
“It’s about a broader spectrum of storytelling and communications that extends beyond the media,” she said. “It’s a broader focus.”
Senior Vice President for Operations Ellery Brown arrived last month, taking over the reorganized department previously led by Executive Vice President Claudette Donlon. Brown served as vice president of operations at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Fla.
While in Orlando, Brown oversaw the construction and opening of a multivenue arts center. He will oversee Whitaker and the expansion, on which construction was expected to begin last month. Designed by Steven Holl, the 60,000-square-foot addition of classroom, performance and event space still requires approval from the National Capital Planning Commission.
Rutter said the arts center is working closely with the commission and the community. “We feel like we need to be in alignment before we have a public conversation,” she said. “In order to make sure the very best work takes place, we need to do it collectively.”
The delay does create some financial pressures, she conceded. “Will it have an impact? Most likely,” she said. “This is time well spent. We’re building a forever project, and I really, really, really want to make sure we do everything right.”
Nicole Weaver became chief information officer in December, leaving a similar position at Women for Women International, a women-centric education organization based in Washington. She and Vice President of Marketing David Kitto led the recent redesign of the arts center’s Web site.
Franci Phelan became chief human resources officer last month, filling a role that had been vacant for several years. Finally, Mario Rossero, currently Chicago public schools’ chief of core curriculum, will become vice president of education in July. Rossero succeeds Darrell Ayers, who retires in June.
Rutter worked with Rossero during her tenure at the Chicago Symphony. “He and I worked very closely together on an arts plan for schools,” she said. “I was thrilled he applied for the job.”
One more high-level position, senior vice president of artistic planning, remains open. “That’s important for us to have a cohesive artistic identity,” Rutter said.