Kaiman honored for farm activism; Weston Playhouse names new managing director


Lisa Kaiman, left, holds Rural Vermont’s first Golden Spoon award, presented to her by Rural Vermont’s Andrea Stander for Kaiman ‘stirring the pot’ on behalf of the state’s farm interests. Photo by Cynthia Prairie

Chester farmer Lisa Kaiman, owner of Jersey Girls Dairy and Jersey Girls Farm Cafe and  Market in Gassetts, was honored last week by Rural Vermont, a education and advocacy organization that lobbies for family farming and local consumer interests.

The honors were bestowed upon Kaiman at the annual Rural Vermont meeting, this year held at the American Legion Hall in Chester. The event attracted 200 people to the potluck supper, annual meeting and social.

Kaiman is known for her blunt speaking and goal-directed activism. Rural Vermont recently was part of the successful lobbying efforts that made GMO labeling a requirement in Vermont, the first state in the United States to adopt the requirement.

— Cynthia Prairie

Koenig to become WPTC managing director

The Weston Playhouse Theatre Co. has appointed Lesley Koenig as its new managing director, effective June 2.

Lesley Koenig

Lesley Koenig

Koenig, who has been serving as the company’s interim managing director through an arrangement with Arts Consulting Group, has instituted a new departmental budgeting model, increased the company’s use of social media, and laid the groundwork for new systems in accounting, marketing and development. She was chosen from a pool of 22 candidates garnered from a national search.

“Hiring Lesley Koenig, with her years of non-profit arts management experience, is a key step as Weston expands from a core of summer productions to a series of year-round programs,” said Anthony Wood, chair of the theater’s Board of Directors.

With more than 12 years’ experience managing performing arts organizations and a 20-year career as an opera director, Koenig blends business skills with an intimate understanding of both production and the culture of performing arts organizations. Engaged as a stage director at the Metropolitan Opera at age 23, she took a sabbatical from an international directing career to earn an MA and MBA from Stanford and to redirect her energies toward management. She served as general manager of San Francisco Ballet, director of production at the Met, and general director of Opera Boston before joining Arts Consulting Group as a senior consultant. She continues to direct an opera production a year.

“When we chose Lesley to be our interim managing director, we had no idea that she would prove to be a candidate for the permanent position,” noted Weston’s Producing Artistic Director Steve Stettler. “Her work with our staff and board has been exemplary, our community has embraced her, and we are excited to welcome her fully into the Weston family.”

“There’s something magical happening in this corner of the world,” added Koenig. “I am delighted to join the Weston community and help a company with such a rich history enjoy an even richer future.”

For more information visit www.westonplayhouse.org.

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