RICHARD C. BARKER – Named Chair of San Francisco Ballet’s Board of Trustees

2008 Season continues through May 6th with New Works Festival

By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

San Francisco Ballet’s Board of Trustees announced the election of Mr. Richard C. Barker as the new chair of the board for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2008. Current Board Co-Chair James H. Herbert, II, was named Immediate Past Chair. Current Board Co-Chair Pamela J. Joyner was named Trustee Emeritus. Mr. Barker will take over from current Board Co-Chairs James H. Herbert, II and Pamela J. Joyner, who have served together since July 1, 2005. Mr. Herbert previously served a three-year term as board chair starting July 1, 2002. Ms. Joyner will retire from the Board at the conclusion of her term, and has been honored with the title of Trustee Emeritus. Mr. Barker will serve alongside Chair Emeritus Chris Hellman; Immediate Past Chair Mr. Herbert; and Vice Chairs J. Stuart Francis, Margaret G. Gill, Lucy Jewett, Paul G. Lego, James D. Marver, Carl F. Pascarella, Robert M. Smelick, and Diane B. Wilsey. Hank J. Holland was elected treasurer, and Jennifer J. McCall and Susan S. Briggs were re-elected as secretary and assistant secretary, respectively.

PROGRAM B – Adam’s A rose by any other name. Photo, Erik Tomasson

“The Board has chosen an outstanding leader in Dick Barker,” said San Francisco Ballet Executive Director Glenn McCoy. “Working closely with staff and Board leadership as Treasurer for the past three years, Dick is uniquely positioned to understand the Ballet’s distinct challenges and opportunities.” Mr. McCoy added, “All of us at the Ballet are very grateful to Jim and Pamela for their leadership. They have guided the Ballet through its most recent long-range plan and oversaw the planning and execution of this year’s magnificent 75th Anniversary celebrations. Their vigilance has been crucial to maintaining the Ballet’s financial stability and balanced budget through its 16th consecutive year.”

PROGRAM B – Morris’ Joy Ride. Photo, Erik Tomasson

Since joining the San Francisco Ballet Board of Trustees in 2003, Mr. Barker has taken a leadership role on the Board, serving as treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee since 2005. He has also served on the San Francisco Ballet Endowment Foundation Board since 2004. Mr. Barker retired in 2005 from his role at The Capital Group where he had served as vice chairman of Capital Group International Inc. and chairman of Capital International Ltd. and Capital Guardian Trust Company. He was involved with the coordination and management of Capital’s $300 billion global institutional portfolio management business. Mr. Barker serves on the Board of Overseers of the Watson Institute of International Studies at Brown University, and is a trustee of the BASIC Fund and the Survivor Corps. He is on the advisory board of two venture capital funds: Champion Ventures and Pharos Capital Partners. He is a former trustee of the California Film Institute, Youth Tennis Advantage, Brown University, the Naval War College Foundation, Marin General Hospital Foundation, and the Branson School (past board president). Mr. Barker graduated from Brown University and served as a Naval Aviation Officer.

DAMIAN SMITH – in Jenkins’ Thread. Photo, Erik Tomasson

Mr. Herbert joined the Board in 1998 and served as a vice chair from 2000 to 2002. He was elected board chair at the start of the Ballet’s strategic plan for the 2003-2008 fiscal years and when the Board was in the planning stages of a proposed $25 million Capital Campaign. Based on the early success of the campaign, Mr. Herbert announced in January 2005 the public phase of the Campaign with an expanded goal of $35 million. During his tenure the Association completed a dramatic expansion and renovation of the Ballet’s main facility at 455 Franklin Street, including a Dancer Wellness Center with new locker room facilities, a fitness studio, and expanded physical therapy spaces. Mr. Herbert spearheaded the acquisition of a student residence on Jackson Street in San Francisco, which has housed 90 students and apprentices, 14 of whom are currently dancing with the Company. The Board presented the Lew Christensen Medal, the Ballet’s highest honor, to Mr. Herbert in January 2008.

Ms. Joyner, who joined the Board in 2001, served as treasurer from 2003-2005, before joining Mr. Herbert as co-chair of the Board in 2005. The past three years under their joint leadership saw the acquisition of a new warehouse, the purchase of the Jackson Street residence, and a series of initiatives in celebration of San Francisco Ballet’s 75th anniversary. In January 2008, Ms. Joyner and Mr. Herbert announced that the $35 million Capital Campaign goal had been reached. The Campaign is expected to raise $44 million by its end on June 30, 2008. San Francisco Ballet achieved its 16th year of a balanced budget through the end of the last fiscal year.

Mr. Herbert, chairman and founding CEO of First Republic Bank, will remain on the Ballet’s Executive Committee as immediate past chair. Ms. Joyner, managing partner and founder of Avid Partners LLC, will step down from the Board at the end of her term, and has been named Trustee Emeritus.

PASCAL MOLAT – in Elo’s Double Evil. Photo, Erik Tomasson

As America’s oldest professional ballet company and one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States, SAN FRANCISCO BALLET has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933. It performed the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first production of Coppélia choreographed by an American choreographer. Guided in its early years by American dance pioneers and brothers Lew, Willam, and Harold Christensen, San Francisco Ballet currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson for more than two decades, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world. In 2005, San Francisco Ballet won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award, its first, in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Dance,” for its 2004 London tour. In 2006, San Francisco Ballet was the first non-European company elected “Company of the Year” in Dance Europe magazine’s annual readers’ poll. This year, San Francisco Ballet celebrates its 75th anniversary.

To order tickets on-line for New Works Festival A:
Sunday, May 4th, at 8:00 PM

To order tickets on-line for New Works Festival B:
Saturday, May 3rd, at 8:00 PM
Sunday, May 4th, at 2:00 PM

To order tickets on-line for New Works Festival C:
Saturday, May 3rd, at 2:00 PM
Tuesday, May 6th, at 8:00 PM

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Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at:

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