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Tech Spotlight

Innovation at Tessitura

Thoughts from Co-Founder Chuck Reif

Chuck Reif

Chuck ReifChief Engineer & Co-Founder

TitleInnovation at Tessitura


Read/View Time3 min

It’s been one of the great joys of my life to be part of making the Tessitura Network grow into what it is today, serving arts and cultural institutions around the world.

As many of you know, I’ve been here since the founding of the Network. Before that, I spent several years leading the development of the original Tessitura software at the Metropolitan Opera. And I’m not going anywhere.

This year we transition to only our second CEO, as Andrew Recinos takes on that position. That transition has been planned for some time, and it’s been an honor to work with Andrew in his roles as Executive Vice President and President over the last few years. I’m excited for Andrew and excited to watch and help him step into his new position. He is eminently and uniquely suited to lead the Tessitura Network.

Recently we announced a series of leadership changes designed to reaffirm our commitment to advancing the business of arts and culture. Andrew and I as well as the rest of the Executive Team discussed this at length, and we all feel that these changes will position the company well as we enter our third decade. I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about one aspect of the company restructure—one that I feel is vital and also very dear to my heart.

We are creating a new group, called Innovation, that combines our product, development, hosting, and staff IT departments. The existing teams and structures are intact but will now be more closely aligned and better able to collaborate, share resources, and work toward unified goals.

Along with Andrew, I’m pleased that John Jakovich, our Vice President of Engineering, is now Tessitura’s Chief Innovation Officer, responsible for the entire Innovation Group. John has proven himself to be a great leader and manager and is without a doubt the right person to guide the future of our technology. 

Ron Wilson, Chief Technology Officer, Anna Wessely, Vice President of Hosting, and I will work together with John as a leadership team in the Innovation Group. I will work closely with the Product team focusing on our current Version 16 initiative.

As for me, I want to support this new leadership in the technology operations of the Network. And I believe it is time for me to give up some of my day-to-day management duties to concentrate on areas that both fascinate me and bring me back to my roots here. 

With John overseeing our Innovation Group, I am moving into a new role of Chief Engineer and Co-Founder, working under John’s direction with special emphasis on helping to carry on our product evolution and working on some strategic technical projects. I may even go back to doing more actual Tessitura software coding, which excites me every day!

I will also continue to serve on the Executive team to help in strategic decision making, reporting to the CEO.

As I move into this new role, I want to acknowledge the skills and passion of all my colleagues at the Network that make it possible to have every work day be a joyous and creative one. And the amazing Tessitura member organizations that trust us to support them in their important missions.

Thank you. 



Top photo by Frank Vessia  from Unsplash


Chuck Reif

Chuck Reif

Chief Engineer & Co-Founder

As one of Tessitura Network’s founders, Chuck Reif has been with the company since its inception and remains a technical leader for Tessitura.

As Chief Engineer and Co-Founder, Chuck works closely with Chief Innovation Office John Jakovich and Chief Technology Officer Ron Wilson to oversee the technical direction of the company and the future functionality of the Tessitura platform.

Chuck joined Tessitura Network from the Metropolitan Opera, where he was project manager for the development of the original Tessitura software. Initially in charge of IT for the Met’s Marketing and Development departments, he became Assistant Director of IT and was responsible for administering the systems that were eventually replaced by Tessitura. Chuck then led the organization-wide effort to design and build what was then called Impresario Software — an extensive project that involved all customer-facing departments over a three and a half year period. 

Prior to his career in technology, Chuck worked in the theatre as a professional stage manager for Broadway and National Touring productions of such shows as The King and I with Yul Brynner, Hello Dolly with Carol Channing and The Music Man with Dick Van Dyke. After seven years backstage, he began consulting with Broadway producers, helping them to implement effective uses of computer technology. One of his projects at the time was to write the program that tracked the casts of Cats all over the world. 

Chuck has a Bachelor of Education (Music and Theatre) from Northern Illinois University. The early years of his career found him doing social work in London, managing a marina in the Virgin Islands and renovating apartments in New York City. But from a very young age he wanted to work in the theatre and is therefore thrilled that the arts are still a major focus of his work. Chuck lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where he enjoys skiing, hiking and cycling.

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