Category In the News

Joffrey’s Director of Human Resources Sarah Venuti Yates.

The Joffrey is proud to announce that Sarah Venuti Yates, Director of Human Resources at the Joffrey, has been named a Notable Leader in Human Resources by Crain’s Chicago Business. Crain’s annual list of honorees for 2021 was announced on February 1, 2021.

Venuti Yates joined the Joffrey in 2018 and has since been instrumental in the advancement of the organization’s commitment to IDEA—Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access, as well as the general health of the Joffrey’s institutional work culture. Under Venuti Yates’ guidance, in partnership with Enrich Chicago, a collaborative of over 40 Chicagoland arts and philanthropic organizations committed to ending racism and systemic oppression in the arts sector, the Joffrey recently completed a three-day training intensive for all members of the organization. The training is supplemented with regular debriefs and discussions among employees.

In the era of COVID-19, Venuti Yates has also worked closely with Director of Operations John Kurtz to transform the Joffrey into a safe work environment for staff, students, and Joffrey Artists. This includes the establishment of a third-party hotline that provides mental health services for employees.

“Sarah has done a remarkable job of keeping the Joffrey at the forefront of best-practices when it comes to work culture,” said Greg Cameron, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Joffrey. “We are proud that she is being recognized by Crain’s for her efforts. She is an invaluable member of the Joffrey family, with greater things still to come to ensure the Joffrey’s commitment to a positive and healthy organization.” 

Venuti Yates joins a select list of HR leaders from around Chicago who, according to Crain’s, “changed their methods of recruiting to attract candidates of diverse backgrounds, established resource groups and implemented implicit bias training. All this while handling the day-to-day basics of administering payroll and benefits and tracking performance. These 54 managers met the mark and then some.”