September 2, 2013

2013 40 Under Forty: Adrien Finlay

Finlay

Title: Executive Director, Music Worcester

Company location: Worcester

Residence: Smithfield, R.I. (soon to be Worcester)

Favorite movie: Anything with the Muppets

Favorite book: "Age of Innocence"

Career highlights: I've been fortunate, lucky and privileged to have had great board members, trustees and staff wherever I've worked. I'm particularly proud of launching a successful $25,000 matching campaign for Music Worcester last fall and having been part of the first-ever live broadcast of a Music Worcester concert on WGBH radio. A week-long educational residency I worked on with the incomparable violinist Midori would have to be another highlight. She worked for hours each day with high school orchestra students and even gave a free concert for the community.

Community involvement: I am looking forward to moving to Worcester this fall. That said, I am excited to have joined Children's Friend as a corporator and to be joining the board of the Cultural Coalition.

Biggest success: Being very new to the community, as well as to my organization still, I hope to have many things of which I could be proud in another few years. I am very excited about two things, though, for Music Worcester's season that's about to start – incredible talent coming to Worcester in the likes of Bela Fleck, Brad Mehldau, John Pizzarelli, Philippe Entremont, and many more, and a new initiative we're starting this year to bring some of our headline artists into local schools.

Biggest challenge: Like many organizations with an amazing history, Music Worcester at once needs to celebrate the past but anticipate the future, and that's incredibly hard to do. Our biggest challenge will be matching the resources we have to attract talent with the desires of the cultural consumer. We may believe we have the best musicians on stage, but if no one is buying tickets there could be no demand for our product.

Mentors: Peter Metz, Music Worcester's board president, and Joel Popkin, immediate past president, have been invaluable to me since I was finalizing plans to come to Worcester last spring. Jim Singerling and Linda Bunce are two others who taught me so many things about relating nonprofits to their communities.

Hidden talents: Cooking and especially baking, all at the service of my love of food! When I realized I didn't have any problem working for two or three days to get the perfect croissant dough layering, I knew I was hooked.

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