Diane Zandstra is Nashville Opera‘s new Senior Director of Development, according to a statement from the nonprofit arts organization.
Zandstra previously served as Senior Development Officer/Director of Major Gifts for YMCA of Middle Tennessee, and Executive Director of Mental Health Cooperative Foundation. With a robust history of cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gifts, Ms. Zandstra’s multi-faceted career also included work as Director of Investor Relations for United Way of Metropolitan Nashville as the staff lead for the major giving initiative responsible for raising over $5 million annually.
“We are pleased to welcome Diane Zandstra to our 15-member staff at Nashville Opera,” says Executive Director Noah Spiegel. “She is a well-respected and proven development professional with extensive knowledge and deep appreciation of our art form. I am delighted to have someone of her caliber join the company at this exciting time in our company’s history.”
At Nashville Opera, Zandstra will steward the institution’s portfolio of contributors, including corporations, major foundations and the many individual donors which comprise the Opera’s diverse community of supporters. As the company continues to engage the region with dynamic and varied programming, her expertise will be essential to continue to build on the organization’s successful Vision 2020 Campaign, which was launched in 2014-2015 to increase revenues to levels consistent with opera companies in similar markets, such as Charlotte and Austin. With Zandstra’s deep connections to Nashville she will also be integral to the design of new partnerships which will continue the company’s history of community engagement.
Zandstra joins a development team that includes Kristin Starling, who joined the company in 2012 from the GRAMMY Foundation, and Claudia McCauley, who joined in 2014, and whose fundraising experience includes Vanderbilt and the Nashville Public Library Foundation.
She holds a Bachelors of Music/Vocal Performance from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. and began her career in Chicago after graduation. Zandstra has worked in nearly all aspects of the recording industry from performing, managing a 24-hour state-of-the-art recording studio, production and product management for new and multi-platinum selling artists, and as a sales and marketing executive. A Nashvillian since 1996, she still actively performs and is an avid long distance runner.
*Photo of Diane Zandstra courtesy Nashville Opera.