Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols Acting President and CEO
As Acting President and CEO, Lori Dimun leads the artistic and organizational vision of the Harris Theater, serving its mission to be a home for music and dance, connecting diverse audiences with outstanding artists from across the city of Chicago and around the world.
Inspired by the visionary leadership of the late Patricia Barretto, Harris Theater President and CEO from 2017 to 2020, Dimun believes passionately in the Theater’s role as an inclusive and welcoming gathering place for artists, audiences, staff, and partners. Together with the senior staff and Board of Trustees, she is committed to building on the Harris Theater’s reputation as a cultural destination, bringing the finest artists and ensembles from around the world to Chicago and showcasing diverse voices through Harris Theater Presents programming.
The Harris is home to more than 25 of Chicago’s not-for-profit arts and culture institutions, including Chicago Opera Theater, Giordano Dance Chicago, Music of the Baroque, and Chicago Humanities Festival. Dimun believes passionately in the Theater’s commitment to supporting this thriving and collaborative community of local organizations.
Dimun previously served as the Theater’s Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, overseeing logistical operations including audience services, technical production, advancement of Harris Theater Presents artistic programming, and the physical space. During this time, the Theater presented such monumental projects as Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Monteverdi 450 festival and the U.S. premiere of English National Ballet in Akram Khan’s Giselle, and expanded its range of diverse and accessible programming into the summer months with its first performances on the Harris Theater Rooftop.
Dimun first joined the Harris in 2011 following seven years in events management 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.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Laura 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 works with the Finance and Audit Committees of the Theater’s Board of Trustees to provide financial reporting to the Board and the Theater’s key partners.
As a seasoned financial accounting professional, Hanssel believes deeply in the importance of the arts to contribute to thriving communities. In her previous position at Arthur Andersen, Hanssel provided consulting services to various not-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 later served as Chief Financial Officer for The Joffrey Ballet for more than eight years, before joining the Harris Theater executive team in 2013.
Hanssel began her career at KPMG Peat Marwick as a certified public accountant, and holds a business degree from Iowa State University.