Andre Perry

Andre PerryAge: 37

Occupation: Executive director, The Englert Theatre; executive director, Mission Creek Festival

Greatest professional achievements: I am proud to have developed – with the support of a wonderful team – the Mission Creek Festival from a small gathering into a week-long event that brings together 10,000 people from our community and beyond.

Who are your mentors: Wally Chappell (former director, Hancher Auditorium of Performing Arts), Marty Christensen (co-owner, The Mill; business architect, ACT) and Monica Moen (Moen Group; principal subcontracts manager, Rockwell Collins).

What would most people be surprised to learn about you: Since I work in the arts nonprofit world a lot of people assume that I don’t like sports. The truth is, I played football for six years and ran track. I love sports.

How do you ensure a balance between work and your personal life: People advise against being defined by your work, but I am passionate about my work. I believe in art and culture and community. Those are integral parts of my personal philosophy so, in many ways, going to work is a significant aspect of simply living my life. All said, I think I know when to take a few days off.

What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career: I am OK with what I’ve learned along the way. I have made mistakes and missed the mark on some projects but those experiences are key to growth. So, no regrets or wanting to turn back the clock.

What’s something people should know about your generation in the workplace: We respect those who came before us and want to support those who are coming up.

If you had $1 million to give, what causes would you support: I would funnel those resources back into the community, specifically helping those who have fewer opportunities to engage in educational experiences beyond the classroom, extra-curricular activities and exposure to and immersion in the arts.