Think Tank

Maryellen Gleason

Maryellen Gleason is a versatile senior executive with turnaround and restructuring experience in both Fortune 100 and nonprofit organizations. Formerly the President and CEO of the Phoenix Symphony, President and Executive Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Interim Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Maryellen brings an entrepreneurial style and legacy of inspiring staff and board to accomplish in days, weeks, and months what most organizations take years to achieve.

Prior to leading "high velocity turnarounds" in the performing arts, Maryellen had almost two decades in the telecommunications industry in sales, marketing and general management with GTE, U S WEST and AT&T. Maryellen is currently the Principal of Maryellen Gleason and Associates, LLC a consulting firm specializing in effective board governance and the development of strategic partnerships for both commercial and nonprofit organizations. She is the highly rated Instructor at UCLA Extension teaching "Working with Boards" and leads board training seminars for Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Gleason is also a member of Women Corporate Directors (WCD) and the International Women's Forum (IWF).

Maryellen was appointed in 2017 to the Harvard Alumni Association Board and serves on the YPO Santa Monica Bay Gold board and previously served on 16 boards and committees including operating, advisory, pension trust, foundation, multi-employer labor contract negotiations, Governor-appointed commission and unsecured creditors committee.

MBA from Kellogg Graduate school of Management at Northwestern University and Bachelor of Liberal Arts cum laude from Harvard University Extension studying History and Literature.


Interim C-Suite, Nonprofit Governance, Operational Improvements, Enterprise Sales Organizations, Business Planning, Transformational Philanthropy and Nonprofit Strategic Alliances and Partnerships