Interview with Jennifer Brink, Executive Director of the Glens Falls Symphony

Jennifer Brink became the newest Executive Director of the Glens Falls Symphony in July of 2015. Before the Glens Falls Symphony, Jennifer had 13 years of orchestra management experience outside of New York. We sat down with Jennifer to talk about her experience moving to, living and working in Warren County.

Jennifer BrinkWhat brought you to Warren County and how long have you been here?
I moved here from the city of Boise, Idaho in 2008. I was attracted to the beauty of the Adirondacks, the proximity to great cities like New York and Boston, and the wonderful arts and business community in the Glens Falls region.

What is something you enjoy most about Warren County?
I find that I really love the people and the culture a great deal. In my work and volunteer activities, I have gotten to know people here who I hold in such high regard that I now cannot imagine living anywhere else. Since I grew up in Western states, I have a little bit of an outsider’s perspective that makes me appreciate the virtues of upstate New Yorkers. I love that people here are honest and they speak their minds, they are hard-working, they are very community-minded in a way that is different from the transient nature of the culture of the West, and people generally treat others with a great deal of dignity.

What is something that you hope is improved on in the future of Warren County?
I have lived in other communities where rampant, unchecked growth and development has moved at a pace far greater than the environment (both the natural and built infrastructure environment) can actually handle. While business development, tourism, and local growth is important to the long-term economic sustainability of our region, I have hopes that a balanced approach will help maintain our many quality assets. The high quality of life we enjoy here depend in part on clean water, natural beauty, and abundant wildlife, as well as good transportation, communications, and educational systems.

What is your experience with the arts community in Warren County?
The arts community in our region is incredible. The talent pool in this area for creative artists, musicians/composers, writers, performers, and producers is astounding. I also have tremendous respect for my colleagues who serve as arts administrators and artistic entrepreneurs. When I joined the Glens Falls Symphony in 2015, there was already a very loyal community of Board members, committee volunteers, donors, and other supporters helping the Symphony thrive. I am constantly inspired by the generosity and enthusiasm that keeps our organization healthy, and I see this same commitment to the arts in the other arts organizations and events in this region.

What are some things you would suggest to someone moving to Warren County?
That’s a great question- depending on where a person is coming from, I might first advise them to get comfortable with the high quantity of winter snow! Seriously, every community has its own history, culture, and challenges. I think a person considering moving their business here would find a talented, sophisticated, and motivated workforce. And for folks moving here to raise a family or to retire, I would encourage them to seek out, and take advantage of the incredibly wide range of stimulating, high-quality activities. A young family could literally do a new activity every weekend and summer day for years on end and never run out of interesting things to do.

Do you have any exciting upcoming plans in Warren County, both personally or professionally?
The Glens Falls Symphony is putting the finishing touches on our next 5-year Strategic Plan, during which time we will be connecting great music with many more schools, families, children, and rural communities than ever before. Our Board and musicians are very excited to be entering a new level of engagement to bring music to an ever-broader number of people.

On a more personal level, on July 1, I took on the role of President of the Glens Falls Rotary Club. We are celebrating our 100th Anniversary year, marking 100 years of service to the community. There are many accomplishments in which the Club can take pride in over the last century, and some very exciting initiatives that are being rolled out over the next few years. This is a very stimulating time to be a part of this great tradition of people sharing “Service Above Self.” My grandfather was a 50-year Rotarian, and I feel him on my shoulder as I work with the amazing, generous, and thoughtful people in Rotary who share their time, expertise, and effort with this great community. I feel so lucky to be a part of this great area, and I look forward to seeing how we all grow, adapt, and make great things happen.