Hartford Symphony Orchestra Welcomes New Board Members

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the appointment of Marissa Baum and Francys Jesson as the newest members of its esteemed Board of Directors. Baum and Jesson were officially voted in at the Annual Meeting on September 27. With their extensive expertise and passion for the arts, Baum and Jesson bring a wealth of knowledge and fresh perspectives to the HSO.

Marissa Baum moved to Connecticut in September 2020 to establish the Marketing and Communications department at the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History. Most recently, she led the organization through a major rebranding, the first in the organization’s nearly 200-year-old history. Prior to the Connecticut Museum, Baum served as the Director of Development and Communications, as well as the Interim Director of Operations, for the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, MO.

In Kansas City, Marissa served on the Board of Directors of Young Latino Professionals and was founding Co-Chair of the Young Friends of the National World War I Museum and Memorial. Marissa currently serves as the Chair of Forte!, the next generation of supporters of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

Marissa received her B.A. in Art History from Syracuse University and an M.A. in Museum Studies from The George Washington University.

Baum said, “I am both honored and thrilled to join the Board of Directors of the HSO. I truly believe in the power of music and the work the HSO is doing to foster joy for music by captivating and inspiring audiences through its commitment to diversity.  I look forward to supporting and helping to guide the Symphony to success for the next 80 seasons.”

Francys Jesson, originally from Venezuela and fluent in both Spanish and English, has called the United States home for the last 24 years. She is the proud mother of three children and now lives in Avon.

Francys graduated from the Universidad de los Andes in Venezuela with a major in Forestry Engineering and a minor in Forest Products Manufacturing Technology. She started her professional career as a Process Engineering at Smurfit-Stone Container Venezuela, where she led extensive research on wood fiber types that enabled the company to optimize its pulp and paper production operation.

After moving to the United States, Francys received a scholarship to attend Edgewood College in Madison, WI to become a Bilingual Elementary School Educator. She worked for the Madison School District where a significant portion of the student population is composed of minority and economically disadvantaged children.

In 2012, after ten years working as a teacher, Francys and family relocated to Chicago, IL. She joined Projé Inc., a health plan operations and technology consulting company, as a Project Manager first and Director of Operations and HR later. In 2014, Francys’ husband accepted a job offer that took the family to Avon, CT for the first time. Three years later, Francys and her husband decided to take on a new adventure with her youngest son and moved to La Jolla, CA. She joined the University of California, San Diego, working in the Alumni department as an Operations Project Manager.

Francys and family missed Connecticut and decided to return to Avon for the second time in 2021. She has been focused on her family and is currently building a business with her husband. Ever since her return, Francys has enjoyed the wonderful performances of the HSO and looks forward to helping the Board fulfill the orchestra’s vision.

“I believe the arts have the power to unite people across ages and walks of life. As a member of this board, I am committed to ensuring our symphony resonates with the hearts of our entire community,” said Jesson.

The HSO warmly welcomes our new board members and look forward to their contributions as we strive to enrich lives and community through great music.

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