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R. Avery Ellisman


Work experience



Producer / Director

Visionary and driving force behind start-up, acoustic music camp for children and adults. Lead strategic planning, management and implementation of all business initiatives including fundraising, marketing, finance, administration (including IT), and human resources (volunteer and paid staff). Provide operational structure, marketing initiatives and evaluations, and full execution/management of a multifaceted educational and performing arts event requiring great attention to detail, courtship and nurturing of individual, community and corporate relationships, and meeting interests/needs of hundreds of participants.

Key Contributions:

  • Raised start-up/seed money and early operational funds through developing a large and diverse network of supporters.  Venue identification and acquisition, negotiation of performance and service contracts with acclaimed artists and teaching staff, execution of entire production within budget, including soliciting applications for - and distribution of - scholarships for worthy youth and senior applicants.  Credited with creating first-of-kind senior-scholarship program.
  • Creates, coordinates and implements advertising campaigns through traditional outlets, i.e., flyers, posters and direct mail, as well as emerging social media and buzz marketing (word-of-mouth within niche markets).  Wrote, developed and maintain website (, and conceptualized and co-produced acclaimed promotional video.  Engaged over 250 participants in first three years of camp's existence.
  • Produced standing-room-only benefit concerts in North San Diego County, raising profile of the music camp in Julian, and serving to fund both senior and youth scholarships. 
  • Music camp's early success gained attention and won support of Wells Fargo Bank, Rabo Bank, Advisors Asset Management, Julian Merchants Association, Julian Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Bluegrass Society, North County Bluegrass and Folk Club, San Diego Folk Heritage, California, Montana and Nevada State Old Time Fiddlers Associations, and the National Old Time Fiddlers Association.
  • Became a fiscally-sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a national non-profit arts-service organization.


Executive Director (2003-2010) ~ Consultant (2001-2003) 

Leveraged financial, operational and advisory support for U.S. non-profit with mission of raising funds in support of what has become Israel's newest academic research institution, Ariel University.  Identified and secured key donors (individual and foundation), and developed broad-based network of support.  Created and maintained internal information systems, performed bookkeeping and record keeping, developed and executed fundraising campaigns, including production and coordination of gala events, and recruited and managed staff and volunteers. Negotiated and wrote memoranda of understanding for major donors, and assured state and federal compliance for U.S registered public non-profit. Reported to an international Board of Directors, and collaborated/coordinated activities with College President, Chancellor and VP of Development.

Key Contributions

  • Raised $900,000 and base of support for establishing public, non-profit organization as private consultant. As organization’s Executive Director, generated 15% average annual revenue increase through focused expansion of support in targeted cities, i.e., New York, Boca Raton, Chicago and Cleveland.
  • Played key role in college's attaining university status, i.e., secured funds for creation of new robotics lab, addition of new floor for Department of Physical Therapy, and acquired core funding establishing a School of Mass Communications.


Managing Director (1999-2001); Assistant Director (1997-1999)

Led a unique joint venture with mission of identifying investment opportunities and supporting Israeli research and development activities with strategic interest to a major US automobile manufacture. Served as primary liaison with colleges, universities, aeronautic and defense industries, independent research centers, project companies and start-ups. Provided presentation guidance, developed marketing strategies, and identified key business drivers to improve competitiveness and align objectives with GM’s strategic partnership goals. Recruited and supervised staff, oversaw fiscal planning, negotiated deliverables and contracts, managed projects and public relations.  Presented quarterly and annual reports to a Board of Directors comprised of top GM executives, administering a $2.5 million annual budget.

Key Contributions

  • Shepherded over 30 varied research and/or development projects to completion. Researched and investigated company backgrounds and provided due diligence before GM involvement. 
  • Provided seed funding that spawned start-ups in key industries, e.g., MobilEye (automated collision avoidance technology), SurTech (laser-created surface treatments for improved lubrication), and Chissumim Ltd. (computer-assisted development of specialized welding materials).
  • Promoted and acquired GM Foundation funding for road safety exhibit at children’s museum in Haifa, Israel. Established and coordinated on-going training program with Wayne State University (MI) for automotive technicians seeking to acquire a specialized certification in automotive engineering.

Sample Productions


References (Excerpts)


Master of Social Work (MSW)
San Diego State University

Bachelor of Arts
University California, Santa Barbara