BASIE GOES WEST FOR NEW CEO

Adam Philipson being interviewed on SCVTV Newsmaker of the Week in June. (Image courtesy of SCVNewsmaker.com, Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The Count Basie Theatre‘s search for a new chief executive officer has ended on the West Coast.

The Red Bank nonprofit announced Monday that it has hired Adam Phillipson, managing director for the past four years at the Santa Clarita Performing Art Center at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, to run the performance space on Monmouth Street.

Justine Robertson, a Rumson resident hired as interim CEO in June, will become chief operations officer, reflecting management strengths honed running a family-owned for-profit theater in Hartford, Connecticut for 18 years.

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EXIT STAGE LEFT FOR BASIE EX-CEO

Numa Saisselin at the Basie in 2011. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Numa Saisselin, a former stagehand who led the Count Basie Theatre back to fiscal health after decades of mismanagement and physical decay, only to be nudged out of his job last month, is leaving the Red Bank venue, he announced Tuesday.

Saisselin will become president of the Florida Theatre, a 1,900-seat circa 1927 stage in Jacksonville, Florida, he told friends in an email.

With what he called “very mixed emotions,” Saisselin wrote that “although the opportunity to work in a bigger venue in a bigger market was irresistible, it will still be hard to leave the Basie after 10-1/2 years of great work with so many of you.”

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RUMSON WOMAN TO FOCUS BASIE ON FUNDING

Justine Robertson, who revived a family-owned theater in her native Hartford, Connecticut, is the new interim CEO of the newly restructured Basie. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Elbowing aside its CEO of the past decade, the board of the Count Basie Theatre has decided to merge the operation of the Red Bank stage with the theater’s fundraising counterpart, and has hired a Rumson woman to run the restructured entity on an interim basis, the theater announced Thursday.

Justine Robertson, a 27-year Rumson resident, replaces Numa Saisselin, who was widely credited for having steered the Monmouth Street theater from leaky-roofed money pit to a refurbished and financially stable cultural gem.

Saisselin, a onetime stagehand who colleagues say is more comfortable directing a load-in and negotiating band contracts than schmoozing potential donors, assumes the title of chief operating officer of the not-for-profit enterprise, answering to Robertson, who starts work on Monday.

With its choice, the theater signaled a shift in emphasis the nuts-and-bolts booking acts and theater upkeep to winning contributions from deep-pocketed individuals, Robertson said in an interview with redbankgreen.

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FORMER HOOPS PHENOM TO LEAD YMCA

Rhonda Anderson on the hardwood at the Community YMCA in Red Bank this week, above, and in action as a future Cornell Hall-of-Famer, below. (Above photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

In 1891, basketball was invented at a YMCA. This August, Rhonda Anderson, who broke 19 scoring and rebounding records in her starring role on the Cornell University women’s team in the early 1980s, will return to her game’s roots when she takes over as president and CEO of the Middletown-based Community YMCA.

It took a while for Anderson to find her niche in basketball. In fact, if her high school basketball coach hadn’t recruited her to try out based on her height, her life might have turned out much differently. She credits the game for many of the traits she says will be vital in her new position.

“To rebound effectively, you have to work to get in the position, and you have to have the desire and the effort, ” Anderson said, “and it’s the same thing in the work environment.”

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