By Kallie Sulanke—
MUNCIE, IN – The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County has announced that Scott Jordan received the 2022 David Sursa Leadership Award to recognize his dedicated service to Orchestra Indiana.
Jordan was nominated by Orchestra Indiana, formerly Muncie Symphony Orchestra, for his courageous leadership on the Board of Directors. He has served two consecutive terms in a variety of capacities, including President of the Board, Chair of the Past Presidents Committee, and the Strategic Planning (Mergers and Acquisitions) Committee. Jordan led the Muncie Symphony Orchestra with a vision for the Orchestra’s future.
Jordan assumed the Board President role in early 2020 and was immediately faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact on the Orchestra was wide—concerts were postponed and then canceled altogether. Musicians needed to be paid without incoming concert revenue. There were many questions about how the changes would impact sponsorships, ticket income, and grant funding.
At the same time, the organization had just accepted the resignation of its conductor and was without artistic leadership. Additional leadership and support staff stepped away from the organization soon after. Jordan was leading an organization not only adversely impacted by the pandemic but also an organization facing nearly a complete staff turnover. If that wasn’t enough, the Orchestra’s long-standing relationship with Ball State University was set to change. The Orchestra would lose its office space on campus and funding previously available for student and emeriti tickets.
Jordan chaired the Executive Search Committee to hire the next executive director for the Orchestra. With Jordan at the lead, the Board was determined to find someone with knowledge and experience with fundraising, marketing, and operating orchestras of various sizes. Scott Watkins was named the new director.
Jordan and Watkins worked to rebuild the Orchestra. Jordan supported recommended changes and embraced new ideas to grow engagement and subscriptions. He supported the move of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra off of the BSU campus to their new home at Cornerstone Center for the Arts.
However, Jordan’s commitment to quality local orchestras didn’t stop with Muncie Symphony Orchestra. Instead, he embraced helping other orchestras and communities in the area that suffered from the isolation and financial implications of the pandemic. In 2021, Jordan led the Acquisition Committee that investigated the feasibility of acquiring or merging with the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra. Working with others in the committee, he developed a business plan and Plan and Articles of Merger that would benefit both communities by duplicating concerts in an economy of scale model.
Jordan went to great lengths to work with the musicians of both orchestras in preparation for the merger. Face-to-face meetings, Zoom calls, FAQ sheets, and closed meetings were organized to work with musician stakeholders. There were many difficult conversations about concerns from musicians, and Jordan stepped up to help answer questions and reduce concerns.
In February 2022, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra merged to become a more regional Orchestra Indiana with a new mission to redefine the orchestra experience and a vision to use the power of music to unify our communities and neighborhoods.
In his nomination, Orchestra Indiana Executive Director Scott Watkins wrote, “Scott Jordan’s leadership through difficult times helped set up the success of Orchestra Indiana. We have a good staff. We have a new purpose and mission. We are helping to lift our communities through the power of music. We are redefining the Orchestra Experience now and into the future.”
Jordan was surprised with the award during the Patrioic Pops at the Yorktown Civic Green on the Fourth of July.
The Foundation reviews nominations for high-caliber community leaders that deserve recognition each year. We are pleased to share the names of the other finalists for the David Sursa Leadership Award. Finalists for 2022 include:
- Ryan Hunter, Boys and Girls Clubs of Muncie
- Will Isaacs, Greater Muncie, IN Habitat for Humanity
- Charlotte Sheppard, Muncie Central High School Alumni Association
The David Sursa Leadership Award was established in memory of the Foundation’s first leader. As Founding President, David Sursa blazed the trail for The Community Foundation. His visionary leadership contributed significantly to the Foundation’s success and the generous support it has provided to our community. The annual program rewards, recognizes, and encourages extraordinary nonprofit leadership by a board member displaying the characteristics and commitment to the community expressed by Mr. Sursa during his lifetime.
Additionally, in David Sursa’s honor and commemorating the award, The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County awarded $2,500 to Orchestra Indiana.