Executive Leadership

Patricia Barretto

Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols President and CEO, Endowed Chair, Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance

Patricia Barretto leads the artistic and organizational vision of the Harris Theater, working with the Board of Trustees and an all-women leadership team to serve the Theater’s mission of connecting diverse audiences with outstanding artists from across the city of Chicago and around the world.

The Harris is home to more than 25 of the city’s non-profit arts and culture institutions, including Hubbard Street Dance, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Chicago Humanities Festival, and a presenter of the world’s finest artists and ensembles. The 2019-20 Harris Theater Presents season will feature an international roster, curated by Barretto, including Australia’s Bangarra Dance Theatre, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, and the Chicago debut of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.

Barretto previously held the position of Executive Director of Toronto’s Opera Atelier, where she brought the baroque opera company to international stages including the Salzburg Festival, the Royal Opera House at Versailles, and Teatro alla Scala.

Barretto completed the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management at the Harvard Business School, is a McCormick Scholar of the Chicago Management Institute at the Booth School of Business, and holds a BA in English Literature and Sociology from Mumbai, India. She draws on more than two decades of experience in arts management in Canada, has appeared on the 2018 Giving USA panel, and served on the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council.

Lori Dimun

Chief Operating Officer and General Manager

As Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Dimun oversees the logistical operations of the theater including audience services, technical production, advancement of Harris Theater Presents artistic programming, and the physical plant. A principal function of her role is to ensure that the venue creates an inviting home for artists, audiences, visiting companies, staff, vendors, and local community partners. She believes passionately in the mission of the Harris Theater to cultivate accessible resources to build a thriving and collaborative network of local music and dance organizations through its Resident Company program. Inspired by the visionary leadership of CEO, Patricia Barretto, she also welcomes the bold and deliberate expansion of the Harris Theater Presents programming to amplify its artistic impact on the City of Chicago and to put the Harris Theater on the map as an international destination for exceptional artistic programming.

Dimun joined the Harris in May of 2011 after seven years in the events management department at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and two years as a high school theater educator. She is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago’s Civic Leadership Academy and holds a M.Ed. in Secondary Education and a BA in Theater from Drury University in Springfield, MO. Dimun is on the board of directors of The Gift Theatre and is an active member of IAVM, USITT and the City Club of Chicago.

Laura Hanssel

Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Hanssel is responsible for financial and administrative operations of the Harris Theater creating and monitoring operational and capital budgets and systems for preservation of the theater’s assets. Hanssel oversees the Finance and Audit Committees of the Theater’s Board of Trustees providing financial reporting to the Board and the theater’s key strategic partners.

As a seasoned financial accounting professional, Hanssel feels incredibly fortunate to have found a career opportunity in the arts. While in her previous position at Arthur Andersen, Hanssel provided consulting services to various non-for-profit clients, including volunteer services to The Joffrey Ballet through the firm’s philanthropic program. This introduction to the arts was a pivotal experience for Hanssel, who eventually went on to became Chief Financial Officer for The Joffrey for more than eight years.

Hanssel chose to continue a career in the arts by accepting her position with Harris Theater in September of 2013. She is honored to work at such a thriving arts institution that not only builds a sense of community, but also provide important economic opportunities within the city of Chicago and beyond.

Prior to working in the arts, Hanssel held financial management positions at Arthur Andersen and Baxter Healthcare. She began her career at KPMG Peat Marwick, becoming a certified public accountant after obtaining a business degree at Iowa State University.