Vail Symposium names new executive director
VAIL — The Vail Symposium recently announced the hiring of Kris Sabel as the organization’s executive director. Sabel, who spent 17 years — 15 as executive director — with the Vilar Performing Arts Center, will assume the leadership role with the Vail Symposium on Sept. 1.
“I feel so fortunate to have been a part of making the Vilar Center successful and having had the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the performing arts and experience so many incredible performances,” Sabel said. “I now look forward to expanding the types of programs I will be involved with beyond the arts to include the breadth of the intellectual and curious programs the Vail Symposium provides for our community and guests.”
Originally form Port Washington, Wisconsin, Sabel completed his education with a Bachelor of fine arts from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and a Master of arts from the University of Missouri.
Sabel has lived locally since August of 1999, establishing himself at the Vilar Center for Performing Arts and becoming a familiar face with the arts community.“I have always been impressed and awed by the level of support our community shows for organizations like the (Vilar Center), Bravo! Vail, Vail Jazz and the Vail Symposium,” Sabel said. “We are fortunate to have had so many successful people decide to make the Vail Valley their home or second home. Many have fully embraced and supported these organizations that make this valley so much more than a ski town.”
Sabel first became familiar with the Vail Symposium when the that group hosted the Festival of Words, the Toronto Film Festival, a program with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and others at the Vilar Center. He has also worked with the symposium to moderate discussions on select arts programs.
“We are so excited to have Kris join us as the new executive director at the Vail Symposium,” said Dale Mosier, Chairman of the board of directors at the Vail Symposium. “Kris has the ability to thrive with a very broad range of topics and issues and brings with him the experience of hosting first class events right here in the Vail Valley.”
Sabel’s wife, Ruth Johnson, is the president and CEO of Roundup River Ranch.
“I hope to gain an understanding of what motivates the symposium’s audience and see what ideas and dreams they have for the future of the organization,” Sabel said. “Then we’ll go to work on achieving that.”