Stephan Stubbins of Sonoma’s Transcendence Theatre Company wins an 11th annual Forty Under 40 award from North Bay Business Journal.
Responsibilities with your company: In addition to being one of founders of Transcendence I serve on the board and in an executive leadership capacity in addition to being responsible for our marketing department (as CMO).
I form strong community partnerships for Transcendence, orchestrate outreach programs, perform in the shows, create/design/schedule/manage our advertising and PR efforts, and wear many hats in addition to building and implementing the strategic vision and plan for the company.
How do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?: I’ve deeply connected the community in leading hundreds of staff in inspiring 81,000 patrons, saving JLSHP, benefiting children, and gaining national recognition in six years.
Years with company: 10
Length of time in current position: Six years. Our executive titles names were solidified in 2011.
Number of employees who report to you: 14
Greatest professional accomplishment: As a business leader, it was beginning our first season with $83 and pulling off a $400,000 financial leap of a first season in the black. After five years, we’re now a $3 million company.
It’s been through persistence, community building, grassroots and a relentless attitude to make a profound positive impact in saving Jack London State Historic Park and inspiring thousands of lives. As an artist it would be accomplishing my dream of performing on Broadway in Mary Poppins.
Greatest professional challenge: Taking something that’s invisible and convincing thousands of people to believe and invest in it before it’s real.
Best advice received: Never stop investing in constant and never-ending improvement (CANI). Never stop learning, growing and adapting personally and professionally.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: After five years of lessons learned in the development of our business systems, the addition of skilled board members, the creation of our advisory council, and the enlisting of invaluable business consultants has brought us to a most important event of re-evaluating our strategic plan and fine-tuning it for much greater success and sustainability.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?: Financially we’ve taken steps to become more sustainable by adding business expertise to our board, by creating an advisory council, and by enlisting expert business consultants to help us refine our systems and focus our strategic plans.
In regards to our morale, we are very focused on our healthy company culture. We hold weekly all-hands meetings where different members of the company provide the inspiration, or provide book reports and summaries of what they’ve been learning. We host family dinners for our artists and staff.
We begin all of our rehearsals with 30 minutes of alignment where different artists share inspirations and teachings (this not done in any other theatre organizations that we know).
Our four values are kindness, honesty, transformation and positive impact, and we integrate them into our conversations and operations and we strive to live by them daily. We know we can’t pay our employees competitively to other organizations, but we’ve retained star employees through their ongoing connection with our mission, culture and team.
Next professional goal: To put a powerful and tested turnkey marketing system in place for our company, so we can scale effectively while keeping a profound personal connection with our dedicated supporters and staff.
Transcendence Theatre Company
1151 Broadway #201, Sonoma 95476