Director of Development, Springfield Symphony Orchestra: Age 39
Heather Gawron is nearly 15 years removed from her days as an elementary-school teacher, and there have been many career stops in many places — from Paris to American International College — since then.
But she still takes lessons from those teaching days, and from her degree in education, and applies them to all facets of her life.
“I think it shapes so much of what I do now organizationally, experience-wise, and knowing how to communicate with all different types of people,” she said of her work today, which takes place on both sides of Main Street in downtown Springfield.
On one side is the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO), which she serves as director of Development. On the other side is SkinCatering Inc., a salon and spa she serves as ‘chief impact officer.’ Last year, she led its efforts to create and launch a new brand of all-natural skin-care products called Weekend Beauty.
Her life and current work is captured neatly in all that she brought to her 40 Under Forty photo shoot, including her two daughters, Maxie and Charlie, a banner for the symphony, some art work depicting Weekend Beauty, a photo of the Eiffel Tower to represent her time in Paris — what she calls her “happy place” — and a picture of her family, including the family dog.
Gawron joined the SSO roughly a year ago, and her responsibilities there are in development, fundraising, marketing, and public relations, work that has been made much more challenging by the ongoing labor dispute with the symphony’s musicians.
“This year, we’ve spent a lot of time trying to reach new audiences, and showing that we’re here and that we’re committed to being an amazing cultural experience in the community, and bringing in a diverse selection of conductors in the hope that this helps us engage with the community and keep what is a pretty cool thing to have in our size city,” she said. “There are many cities larger than ours that don’t have a symphony orchestra.”
At SkinCatering, she handles marketing and branding for the new skin-care brand, which is packaged for travel, she noted. “These skin-care kits have everything you need to keep your routine consistent on the road, whether you’re traveling for business, at the gym every day, or you just want a simple way to spoil yourself at home.”
Meanwhile, Gawron is active in the community, supporting organizations such as Square One and Habitat for Humanity, demonstrating that her passions extend well beyond both sides of Main Street.