This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, just announcde the recipients of the 2013 National Opera Trustee Recognition Awardm and one recipient is Patricia A. Richards of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. "We are delighted to be joined by Bank of America in celebrating the significant and enduring contributions of these devoted trustees," stated Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America, in a press release. "The National Opera Trustee Recognition Award affords the entire opera community an opportunity to salute and learn from those who have been so generous in their passion for the art form, vision and support of their opera companies." Each year, OPERA America professional member companies are invited to nominate one of their trustees for this award. Honorees from each of the four OPERA America budget levels are chosen by an adjudication committee through a competitive selection process.
According to the organization:
Upon being appointed vice chair of the newly merged Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (USUO) in 2004, a position she has called "the hardest assignment of her life," Patricia A. Richards now serves as the chair of the USUO Board of Trustees. A visionary from the inception of the 2002 USUO merger, Ms. Richards led a special task force early in the merger and again in 2012 to acquire a better understanding of what has worked, what hasn't worked, and how to improve on cooperative internal operations and relationships moving forward. Ms. Richards served as an instrumental force in locating a new CEO in 2007, as well as a new music director in 2009, demonstrating her deep commitment to the leadership and personnel of USUO. She is willing to lead as a fundraiser, government advocacy representative in the State Legislature, and personally recruits friends, neighbors and strangers to attend and support USUO. Additionally, Ms. Richards sought to focus the work of the Board of Trustees on real governance and strategic issues and aided the negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement with the Utah Symphony Musicians and Local 104 on five occasions. After retiring from her career as a banking professional for Wells Fargo in the Intermountain West, Ms. Richards and her husband, Bill Nichols, set the tone for USUO's comprehensive campaign by donating $1 million dollars, saying that she "cannot ask others to make such a sacrificial gift without leading first as board chair." Since that time, almost $25 million in additional support has been raised. "Pat Richards has been a pillar of strength for USUO. She has far exceeded any expectation of what a board chair should do for a nonprofit organization," stated USUO President & CEO Melia P. Tourangeau. OPERA America will pay tribute to these 2013 honorees and celebrate their achievements at a dinner and reception on Friday, Feb. 22, in New York City.