Jerome H. Kern
CEO / Co-chair of the Board of Trustees
Jerome H. Kern has been the President of Kern Consulting, LLC since 1997. Kern joined Nomura Securities International in August 2010 as a senior advisor to the America’s Investment Banking Division with a specific mandate to develop technology, media and telecommunications opportunities. Prior to that, he served as interim chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises, Inc.; was the managing partner in Enki Strategic Advisors, consultants to the broadband and mobile industry from 2007-2009; and the chairman and CEO of On Command Corporation. An acknowledged media veteran and mega-deal maker in complicated, multi-party transactions, Kern served as vice chairman and a member of the board of directors of Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI). He was the architect of the AT&T/TCI merger, and TCI’s representative in a number of other high-profile mergers and acquisitions, including the Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting merger. Prior to TCI, Kern was a senior partner at Baker & Botts, LLP, where he was the senior corporate lawyer in the New York office. For more than twenty years, he was the principal outside legal counsel to TCI and Liberty Media.
Kern graduated from the New York University School of Law (L.L.B., 1960, cum laude) where he was a Root Tilden Scholar and managing editor of the New York University Law Review (1959-60), and was named to the Order of the Coif. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University (A.B. 1957). Kern is a member of the board of trustees of the New York University Law Center Foundation, Volunteers of America (Colorado Chapter), the Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders and co-chair of Colorado Symphony Association.
Chief Advancement Officer
John Burtness joined the Colorado Symphony as Chief Advancement Officer in October 2017 and is responsible for managing all fundraising activities in support of annual operations, expanding the endowment fund, and other special initiatives. Previously he served as Vice President of University Advancement at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and CEO of the MSU Denver Foundation where he focused on alumni relations and raising private gift support; served on the university president’s senior team; and was a board member of the HLC@Metro, Inc., a public/private partnership with Sage Hospitality that operates the Spring Hill Suites Hotel and the Hospitality Learning Center on campus.
Over his 30-year career, John has held similar fundraising or leadership positions on development teams at National Jewish Health, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the Iliff School of Theology, and the University of Northern Colorado. John has mentored young professionals through the Institute for Leaders in Development (ILD) hosted by the University of Denver and has served on several boards including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Colorado Chapter, and the Inner-City Health Center. John earned his BA in psychology at Wheaton College in Illinois and an MA in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Northern Colorado.
Chief Administrative Officer
Susan Ellis joined the Colorado Symphony Association in January 2013 as Executive Administrator & Board of Trustee Liaison. July 2016, Ms. Ellis took on the title of Chief Administrative Officer. She is responsible for the organizations’ s business integration efforts, administrative services, including human resources, information services and technology, and facility services. Ms. Ellis works directly with the CEO in information gathering, goal setting for departments, and coordination of interdepartmental operations. Ms. Ellis also oversees the Colorado Symphony Association Board of Trustees and serves as Secretary for The Symphony Fund, that manages the endowment for the Colorado Symphony.
In her 25-year career, Susan has accumulated an extensive background in business management. From 1991-1995, Susan worked at The Home Shopping Network, in the Investor Relationships Department; 1997-present, Susan has managed all business operations for Kern Consulting, LLC, including interim office operations for managed companies, including On Command Corporation and Enki Strategic Advisors. Susan is a lifetime member of the VFW Auxiliary.
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer
Coreen Miller joined the Colorado Symphony Association in July, 2015 as Chief Financial Officer. She is responsible for managing the financial operations of the Symphony to achieve long-term sustainability and ensure fiscal responsibility and integrity.
Ms. Miller has extensive background in not-for-profit and governmental accounting and management including serving as Director of Finance at DSST Public Schools in Denver Colorado, Controller at Katy Independent School District in Katy, Texas and at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. Before moving into the not-for-profit and governmental sectors, Ms. Miller worked in public accounting. She was the Partner in Charge of Audit Quality for Kemper CPA Group and began her career at a “Big Eight” accounting firm upon graduation from college.
Ms. Miller holds a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a CPA, licensed in both Texas and Colorado.
Chief Marketing Officer
Like you, Parker Owens is curious and inquisitive when it comes to human behavior. With nearly a decade of expertise in branding, media strategy, and organizational messaging, Parker has successfully promoted over 500 events in his career, including concerts, free community events, social functions, and fundraisers around South Dakota and Colorado.
Parker joined the Colorado Symphony team in 2013 and has helped lead the organization’s audience development initiatives, brand communications, market research, pricing, promotions, and customer service management. Currently, Parker oversees the organization’s ticket sales budget and contributes to the Symphony’s strategic planning, product evolution, and marketplace implementation. He works to grow contributed income by increasing paid attendance, which has resulted in a $1.1 million revenue contribution— part of a gift from Colorado’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), based on the Colorado Symphony’s Tier II designation (2017).
A driven and meticulous marketing and sales strategist, Parker's skill set includes traditional, digital, guerrilla, and social event marketing; audience development and user experience management; public relations strategy and brand strategy; promotional campaign execution; subscription campaign marketing; eCommerce, mCommerce, and UX web enhancement; strategic partnering and promotions; contract negotiation; staff management and training; budgeting; data analysis; board relations; and organizational planning.
Parker is a graduate of the University of South Dakota, with a Bachelor of Art degree in Contemporary Media and Journalism.
Chief Artistic Officer
Tony Pierce joined the Colorado Symphony in September 2010 as Vice President of Artistic Operations, and in 2016 became the Chief Artistic Officer. As the former Director of Artistic Operations for the Charleston (South Carolina) Symphony Orchestra for six seasons, Pierce was responsible for all aspects of artistic planning, concert production and orchestral operations. He is known for having energized the Charleston musicians in a collaborative way with the music director and the board. A trained cellist, he began his professional career as a CPA with a “Big Four” accounting firm, an experience that has enhanced his understanding of orchestral operations, resulting in expertise in budget origination and expense management. Additionally, he gained significant staff management experience while working to create an environment of innovation and creativity. Pierce received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and music from Furman University and a master’s of accountancy from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Board of Trustees
Mary Rossick Kern
Co-chair of the Board of Trustees
Mary Rossick Kern has more than twenty years experience working in the non-profit sector. She was membership director for KRMA television until 1989, when she became the Colorado Symphony’s first Director of Development. In addition, she was Vice President of Development for Volunteers of America in Colorado, and she and her husband Jerry served as co-chairs of the board of trustees from 2001 to 2006. Mary holds a PhD in medieval literature from Birmingham University and her interests include reading, writing, scuba diving and her dog Mikey.
Stephanie Donner, Esq.
Trustee & Treasurer
Stephanie Donner is the Chief Legal Counsel for Governor John W. Hickenlooper. Stephanie advises the Governor on legislative and policy issues, judicial appointments, and emergency management issues. Prior to assuming the position of Chief Legal Counsel, Stephanie was the Deputy Chief of Staff and Executive Director and General Counsel for the flood recovery. In those roles, Stephanie advised on a variety of legal issues and led the coordinated response to recover from the largest natural disaster in the state’s history. Stephanie pursued and advocated for millions of dollars to assist Coloradans recovering from fires and floods. Ms. Donner was an associate at Morrison & Foerster. Stephanie represented public companies, and their directors and officers, in securities fraud class actions, shareholder derivative lawsuits, and special investigations. Stephanie also routinely defended clients in breach of contract and employment disputes. Ms. Donner also clerked at the Federal District Court for the District of Colorado, and spent time as an associate at Brownstein, Hyatt, and Farber.
Ms. Donner graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston Law Center, Order of the Coif and Order of the Barons. While in law school, she served as Notes and Comments Editor for the Houston Law Review. Stephanie serves on the Finance and Advancement Committee for the Colorado Symphony and also serves as a board member for the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. Mrs. Donner currently serves as outside Corporate Counsel, Galvanize, Inc.