Tuft & Associates salutes Michael McStraw who just completed his 10th anniversary season with Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC), which is now in its 57th season.
McStraw says “this has been one of the most exhilarating periods in my professional life, leading America’s original jazz dance company in an extended time of growth and influence.”
Since 2011, under McStraw’s leadership, GDC has more than doubled its operating budget, doubled staff, rebranded itself, bought a building, and started its first-ever capital campaign. With a firm strategy in place, he explains, “the organization has steadily elevated the quality and reach of its artistic product and is now recognized as one of the ‘Big Three’ of Chicago dance, alongside the Joffrey Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.”
Tuft & Associates partnered with the GDC, with Tuft Associate Kathleen Henrichs leading the Executive Director search. McStraw recalls, “The experience I had with Tuft Associate Kathy Henrichs could not have been more enjoyable. Kathy found that perfect balance between professionalism and personal care that made me know immediately that I was guided by one of the best.”
Ahead, McStraw will be overseeing a new facility for GDC in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, GDC was able to purchase a church in the Lincoln Park/Old Town Triangle neighborhood, which will undergo renovation to become its new facility that includes a dance school, rehearsal space, informal performance space, a retail partner, and a rooftop deck.
Says Tuft President Jill Christie, “We want to congratulate Michael on his 10-year anniversary with Giordano Dance. It was especially exciting to be in the audience at the Harris Theater when Artistic Director Nan Giordano recognized Michael and his 10 years of service. We are so proud that we played a role in connecting Michael with the GDC to provide exceptional leadership to that company and to dance and the arts in Chicago.”
Read more about Michael McStraw in our special section, Leaders We Place.