Episode 84: Boston Ballet’s Business Plan Competition

Max Hodges, Executive Director of the Boston Ballet, shares the story of a business plan competition (à la “Shark Tank”) for new revenue that engaged the Ballet’s entire organization of more than 500 people, including staff, dancers, musicians, and board members.

Meredith (Max) Hodges. Photo by Liza Voll; courtesy of Boston Ballet.Meredith Max Hodges—who goes by Max—joined Boston Ballet as Executive Director in 2014, and leads the company in partnership with Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen As an arts leader, Hodges has a passion for bringing a business approach to building audiences, broadening access, and supporting the creative process.

Her wide range of experience combines both the not-for-profit arts and the for-profit management industries. Prior to joining Boston Ballet, Hodges served as Executive Director of Gallim Dance, a New York-based contemporary dance company that tours worldwide. At the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Hodges worked in a variety of roles, most recently as a Project Director leading strategic development, membership, and technology initiatives. She has also worked as a Senior Associate Consultant with Bain & Company in Boston and New York, consulting for clients in multiple industries, including private equity and consumer products.

Hodges is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She speaks about arts entrepreneurship at conferences and universities that have included the Juilliard School, the Massachusetts Conference for Women, the Dance/USA Annual Conference, Northeastern University, and TEDxBroadway. Her leadership has been recognized by the Commonwealth Institute and The Boston Globe, naming Boston Ballet one of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts two years in a row. Hodges was elected to Harvard University’s Board of Overseers in 2018.

Watch Boston Ballet’s 2019-2020 season launch video

Learn more about Boston Ballet’s Business Plan Competition (PDF)

Read Episode Transcript.

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