Release date: 4/1/2014

San Francisco Opera Appoints Jon Gossett
as Chief Development Officer

San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley announced today the appointment of Jon Gossett as chief development officer, effective April 8, 2014.  Gossett comes from a position as vice president and chief development officer of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) St. Luke’s Health System and executive director of St. Luke’s Foundation in Houston, Texas; he has previously held chief development positions at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, American Public Media Group and Houston Grand Opera.  He succeeds Development Director Jennifer Lynch, who is resigning from San Francisco Opera after more than four years of achieving unprecedented fundraising goals for the Company.
As a member of the Company's senior management team reporting directly to David Gockley, Jon Gossett will have responsibility for San Francisco Opera’s annual, project and capital fundraising campaigns, including individual gifts, corporate sponsorships, foundation and government grants, and legacy giving.  As chief development officer, he will oversee a team of 26 development professionals, who in fiscal year 2013 raised an unprecedented $37 million in contributed revenue for San Francisco Opera’s operating budget, in addition to special commitments for the Company's endowment; signature projects such as world premieres and new education initiatives; and The Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera. 
David Gockley commented, “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Gossett as San Francisco Opera’s new chief development officer. I have had the pleasure of working with Jon at Houston Grand Opera and found in him a trusted partner with excellent skills at building comprehensive and strategic philanthropic campaigns.  Jon develops lasting relationships with donors and community and civic leaders, and is a strong collaborator with his company colleagues.  I firmly believe that Jon will represent San Francisco Opera admirably within the Bay Area and will provide the necessary guidance and leadership to achieve our development goals.”
Jon Gossett said, "I'm pleased and excited to again focus my professional fundraising career on music and especially opera.  I enjoyed my nine year association with David Gockley at the Houston Grand Opera, and it is an honor to now be associated with David and the board and staff of one of the great opera companies in the world, San Francisco Opera." 
One of only 100 Advanced Certified Fundraising Executives internationally, Jon Gossett comes to San Francisco Opera with more than 20 years of successful, multi-faceted advancement and fundraising experience. Gossett’s most recent position was as vice president and chief development officer of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, home to the Texas Heart Institute, and executive director of St. Luke’s Foundation. Prior to that post, Gossett held positions as vice president and chief development officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America (New York, NY); senior vice president of development at American Public Media Group (St. Paul, MN); executive director of development at Houston Grand Opera Association and executive vice president, Houston Grand Opera Endowment (Houston, TX); and director of development at the Guthrie Theater Foundation (Minneapolis, MN).  Jon Gossett holds a BMA, Music Performance (Business Administration) from the University of Michigan and an MA, Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.
A leader among international opera companies for nine decades, San Francisco Opera was founded by Gaetano Merola and incorporated in 1923. In 1932 the Company moved into its current home, the beautiful beaux arts-style War Memorial Opera House. With a current budget of $71 million, San Francisco Opera completes its 91st season in June–July 2014 with productions of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Show Boat, Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.  The 2014–15 season will include 70 mainstage performances of 10 operas including Hector Berlioz’s  Les Troyens (The Trojans); the Company premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in a new production; the Company premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Partenope; the world premiere of Italian composer Marco Tutino’s La Ciociara (Two Women); a new production of Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma; as well as productions of Giuseppe Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball); Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca; Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella); Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro); Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème; and two special presentations of  La Bohème for Families.