The South Orange Performing Arts Center’s Board Chair, Douglas Newman, announced that SOPAC’s Executive Director, Dee Billia, recently left her position after years of senior leadership.

Billia joined SOPAC nine years ago as Director of External Relations and led its marketing and communications efforts. Her many achievements included building annual attendance to an unprecedented average capacity, a new website and upgraded digital communications, establishing press relations that kept SOPAC in the news and the public eye, and building relationships in the community. During her tenure, SOPAC was honored six years in a row with the Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice Award for New Jersey’s Favorite Small Performing Arts Center.

In 2019 and again in 2020, Billia stepped in to serve as SOPAC’s Acting Executive Director, leading SOPAC through the significant challenges of the Covid-19 shutdown. She created virtual programming, brought in new revenue streams, including federal relief grants, and helped stabilize SOPAC’s finances. In June 2021, Billia was appointed Executive Director and led the renovation and re-opening of SOPAC, after Tropical Storm Ida’s September 2021 flood damage.

Billia has a deep and long history in the New Jersey arts community and, prior to joining SOPAC, she held leadership positions with several of New Jersey’s most prestigious arts organizations, including the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Appel Farm Arts & Music Center, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Chairman Newman stated, “Dee has been a key player in SOPAC’s success for almost a decade and has an outstanding reputation in New Jersey’s performing arts world. SOPAC’s Board of Governors thanks her for her years of dedicated service and wishes her success in her future endeavors.”