Jazz Arts Group board to conduct national search for successor
COLUMBUS, OH [June, 22, 2022] – Press Southworth III, Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus Jazz Arts Group (JAG) for the past 10 years, has announced that he will retire.
The Columbus Jazz Orchestra is a world-renowned repertory jazz orchestra and is nationally recognized for its educational programs and unique Jazz Academy, a one of-a-kind facility dedicated to instruction in jazz theory and performance. Students of JAG’s education programs have become noted artists and educators throughout the nation. During Southworth’s tenure as CEO, JAG has grown to become the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and the second largest jazz repertory orchestra in the United States. It receives major institutional support from the Ohio Arts Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) and has received GCAC’s Artistic Excellence Award on two occasions.
Today, JAG stands as a thought-leader and artistic guidepost through its work with BalletMet, the Columbus Zoo, CCAD, WOSU Public Media, the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, the King Arts Complex, COSI, the New Albany Community Foundation, and Thurber House. Partnerships with community organizations include the YMCA, the Urban League, the Columbus Museum of Art, Experience Columbus, the Godman Guild, the Salvation Army, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and other local and regional organizations
“The Jazz Arts Group has flourished under Press’ strong stewardship and financial acumen,” said JAG Board President Gary Wadman. “With the strong foundation Press has helped provide, we are excited about continuing our mission to advance and celebrate the art of jazz through performance and education.”
Prior to joining JAG and Opera Columbus, Southworth spent nearly 27 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where he served as engagement partner on SEC reporting bank holding companies, and served companies in the insurance, retail and mutual fund industries. He was a national leader in the firm’s In-Control Services response to the FDIC Improvement Act and member of the AICPA Banking Committee and FDICIA Task Force.
A summa cum laude graduate of The Ohio State University, Press was recognized by PaceSetters as The Outstanding Scholar Leader of the Senior Class of the Business College in 1975. He is a Vietnam Veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart while serving in the US Army as an Artillery Captain.
Press has been an active community volunteer for more than 40 years and has served as chairman or president of the following organizations: Ohio Society of CPAs, PaceSetters of the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, March of Dimes of Central Ohio, Prevent Blindness of Ohio, St. Charles Booster Club, the Columbus Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants, the Columbus Chapter of the OSCPAs, Opera Columbus and Columbus Cultural Leadership Consortium. Prior to joining JAG, Press served as executive director of Opera Columbus from 2006 to 2011 and, during that tenure, was also president of the Columbus Cultural Leadership Consortium for two years.
“Serving as the CEO of the Jazz Arts Group for the past 10 years has been an incredible experience. I have worked throughout my career to ensure performing arts in Central Ohio can thrive and make our community a great place to live, work and play,” said Southworth. “I have been so fortunate to be part of an incredible JAG family and work alongside a talented group of professionals, musicians, volunteers and community leaders over the years. I thank them profoundly for their support and all that we have accomplished together to take the Jazz Arts Group into the next century.”
Southworth will continue in his role until a new CEO is in place. The JAG Board of Directors will seek input from a broad range of community leaders and stakeholders to aid in the search for Southworth’s replacement.
About Jazz Arts Group
The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America’s premier not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting Jazz. Our mission is to advance and celebrate the art of jazz through performance and education. The Jazz Arts Group divides its resources among two areas: performance and education.
The Jazz Arts Group believes in the power of music to transform lives and is committed to offering lifelong-learning opportunities for individuals of all ages, interests, backgrounds and abilities. JAG achieves this with our JAG Education & Community programs and through our Jazz Academy activities.
Kendal Smith, Director of Marketing & Communication
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