Paul Helfrich, President & CEO of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Music degree (with distinction) from Indiana University – Bloomington in 1984, and a Master’s degree in Arts Administration, also from Indiana University, in 1986.
Mr. Helfrich came to Dayton to serve as President of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2008. In less than four years with the Dayton Philharmonic, he oversaw the launch of two new series including the highly successful Rockin’ Orchestra series, the completion of a $1.5 million special fundraising campaign called Protect & Secure, the negotiation of three collective bargaining agreements with the American Federation of Musicians, and played a key role in the 2012 merger of the Dayton Philharmonic with the Dayton Ballet and Dayton Opera to create the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. He is currently leading the quiet phase of the first-ever endowment campaign for the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance.
Before coming to Dayton, Mr. Helfrich served 12 years as Executive Director of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Charleston, West Virginia. The WVSO’s budget grew 94% overall during his time with the orchestra, with ticket sales, sponsorships, and annual fundraising all significantly increased. His previous positions include service as Executive Director of the Erie Philharmonic in Erie, Pennsylvania, Director of Marketing & Public Relations with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Coordinator of Publicity and Special Programs at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana; and Assistant to the President at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.
In other professional activities, Mr. Helfrich has served as Chairman of Manager’s Meeting Group 3 for the League of American Orchestras and as a Grant Panelist for Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Discover Classical WDPR/WDPG, the Board of Trustees of Culture Works, and a member of the Dayton Rotary Club.
Mr. Helfrich’s interests include music (with a dual interest in classical and rock), building scale models, bicycling, reading, and sports. Mr. Helfrich currently resides in Centerville, Ohio, and has two children; Gabby, a recent high school graduate, and Donald, a junior at The Ohio State University.