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Chuck Reif, Kristin Darrow, and Andrew Recinos reflect on key milestones in the evolution of the Tessitura Network and look to the future of our technology and community

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Read/View Time25 min

Fifty years ago, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. But, argues Chuck Reif, Apollo 8 was the more impressive flight: 

Apollo 8 was the first manned flight to leave Earth’s orbit, and the first manned flight to use a three-stage rocket.

The first stage of the Saturn 5 rocket propelled the Apollo craft through liftoff and 42 miles upward. The second stage sent the ship into Earth orbit at around 119 miles. And the third stage was reserved for sending the command/service module and the lunar lander out of orbit and to the moon.

A drawing of a rocket in three sections, drawn in red, with brackets and text indicating Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3

In this talk, delivered live at TLCC2019, Chuck Reif, Kristin Darrow, and Andrew Recinos imagine the Tessitura Network having three stages as well. The three reflect on Tessitura's first two stages and dream together about what the future might bring.

The first stage, says Chuck, started “when we finished writing the original software.” The first seven organizations to use Tessitura formed a cooperative partnership to govern the Tessitura Network. From there, the Network formed its first board of directors, hired the first staff, built an API to power e-commerce, added access control and hosting services, and expanded the membership to over 250 organizations.  

“Without the risks and vision of our original members and the forethought of the Next Generation project, the Tessitura Network today would not be what it is.”
— Chuck Reif

Several years later, the board and Network leadership began preparing for Stage Two. Only with a major reimagining of technology and approach would Tessitura be set up for a bright, stable future. This re-envisioning, which officially began in 2009, became known as the Next Generation Project. At a foundational meeting, held exactly 10 years ago, participants talked, listened, and dreamed. “And as so embodies our spirit, out of that meeting came the blueprint for our second-stage roadmap,” says Chuck.

A composite image of three people speaking. From left: Chuck Reif, Andrew Recinos, and Kristin Darrow. All three are seen from the waist up.

From left to right: Chuck Reif, Andrew Recinos, and Kristin Darrow presenting live at TLCC2019

And Phase Three?   

Kristin takes the stage to walk us through the developments coming in Tessitura Version 16, and offers a preview of what might lie beyond. “From our founding moment, we were built around one core principle: to know the customer,” she says. And today, “We are living in a time of enormous change for what it means to know the customer.” And so she lays out Tessitura's vision of not only knowing the customer but making that knowledge actionable — all in service of connecting more people to culture. 

“From our founding moment, we were built around one core principle: to know the customer.”
— Kristin Darrow

Ten years ago, Andrew notes, the Tessitura community was imagining functionality that today is helping organizations that weren’t even on Tessitura back then. Now those organizations — such as the Museum of Science Boston and the West Australian Ballet — are changing lives in their own communities, supported by the functionality of Tessitura. 

“All of our goals have all seemed unachievable when we said them out loud for the first time.”
— Andrew Recinos

We can’t know what we’ll be doing in another ten years. But, the three speakers entreat: “Give us your crazy ideas. Tell us your biggest dreams. Provide us the thrust to ignite our Stage Three rocket.” 


Chuck, Kristin, and Andrew delivered this talk to attendees from over 400 arts and cultural organizations at the 2019 Tessitura Learning and Community Conference in Chicago, Ill. in July 2019.

Kristin Darrow

Kristin Darrow

Senior Vice President, Product

Kristin Darrow is Senior Vice President for Digital at Tessitura Network.

She heads Tessitura’s Digital division and strategic product development for Tessitura’s digital platforms, TN Express Web and TN Mobile Plus. Kristin leads the full lifecycle of Tessitura’s digital products which includes strategic product direction, software development, support and implementation operations. Evolving closely with Tessitura’s broader technology and strategic directions, TN Express Web has gone from a small startup product in 2008 to what is now the Network’s primary web integration platform used by nearly 400 organizations worldwide. During this evolution, the Digital team has grown to reflect this growth in product direction and usage and now includes nearly 30 digitally-focused professionals that span expertise areas from software engineering, quality assurance, UX/UI design, customer service and product implementation.  

Prior to working at Tessitura, Kristin was Director of E-Commerce for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (including overseeing one of the earliest launches of a Tessitura-integrated website in 2002). Her career has been spent at the intersection digital and art/culture.  She’s an avid believer in the power of art and culture to shape (and perhaps most accurately depict) the human experience. She holds a degree in viola performance from the University of Texas at Austin and splits her time between Seattle and her farm in Eastern Washington state where she likes to play fiddle in her barn.     

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Andrew Recinos

Andrew Recinos



Andrew Recinos is President of the Tessitura Network.

He is responsible for oversight of Tessitura's North American operations, including Consulting, Application Support, Managed Services, Community, Conference, and Learning Resources divisions. Working closely with CEO Jack Rubin, Andrew is a key strategic leader for the company. Taking an active role in connecting with Tessitura's member organizations, Andrew visits with scores of cultural professionals around the globe each year, sharing news about the company and learning the many unique stories of our community. Andrew's presentations draw insights from the multifaceted organizations in the world of Tessitura. 

Prior to joining Tessitura, Andrew was a Managing Director at Jacobson Consulting Applications (JCA) where he oversaw their Products division.  Andrew served as a product lead for the development of T-Stats, Tessitura Dashboards and the Revenue Management Application (RMA), as well as serving as Tessitura implementation lead for more than 30 Tessitura implementations. In 2009, Andrew became the Product Manager for the Tessitura Next Generation Project and served on the Board Steering Committee for the project to re-envision Tessitura. Prior to JCA, Andrew worked in fundraising, membership and technology at a variety of non-profits, most notably Carnegie Hall in New York City, where he worked for eight years. Among his roles was Director, Friends of Carnegie Hall, where he oversaw all aspects of this 15,000 member program.

Andrew has a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration and Bachelor of Music, Composition from Indiana University. He currently serves on the Distinguished Alumni Council of the Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughter.

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Chuck Reif

Chuck Reif

Senior Vice President of Technology & Co-Founder

As one of Tessitura Network’s founders, Chuck Reif has been with the company since its inception and remains the primary architect and development project leader for the Tessitura Software.

Chuck leads the Product Development team and works closely with Chief Technical Officer, Ron Wilson, and Senior VP of Digital, Kristin Darrow, to manage the technical direction of the company and the future functionality of the Tessitura platform. Chuck’s team also includes Quality Assurance and Tessitura’s Business Intelligence Initiative with VP of Business Intelligence, John Jakovich. 

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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