President and CEO

A strong believer in arts access for all and in building community through the shared music experience, President and CEO Mary A. Deissler joined the Charlotte Symphony in June 2016, bringing nearly 35 years of broad experience across performing arts and international nonprofits.
Originally from Boston, Deissler served as CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society for nearly 25 years. There she worked strategically to eliminate an accumulated debt and establish cash reserves and budgetary stability. A collaborator at her core, she raised the Society's profile by partnering with the English National Opera to present Chen Shi-Zheng's production of Monteverdi Vespers to rave reviews.
Many similar multi-disciplinary programs followed, incorporating dance, jazz, and theater with high-profile artists, such as Dave Brubeck and Chick Corea.
Most recently, Deissler served as President at Chicago Academy for the Arts, where she developed key partnerships with higher education institutions and other arts groups to increase visibility, enrollment, and student opportunity.
Other posts have included a major gifts and trusts directorship with Save the Children in London, interim  Vice President of Development with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and a Chief Advancement Officer role with Artis--Naples, southwest Florida's largest cultural center. While in Naples, she designed, sourced and implemented a sold-out Live and Local series to cultivate younger audiences.
Deissler earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Massachusetts Boston and an MBA from Babson College. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Chanticleer and London Handel Society, among others.

She enjoys painting and is an avid Bruce Springsteen fan. She has two grown children who live in Boston.