Getting to Know You: Database and Website Manager Bethany Mosher

In Benjamin Franklin’s The Way to Wealth, the wise and oft quoted statesman said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Now, when he said this, he couldn’t have imagined applying this thought to anything like a computer database or a website, although he was quite forward thinking, so perhaps he could have envisioned it! Any business these days without a website is putting itself at quite a disadvantage – there’s really no way to exist in the real world without a presence in the virtual world. So of course, at Geva, we need someone to help us manage our online presence. And, because staff members at nonprofits are pros at wearing multiple hats, Geva’s website manager also manages our database, which keeps track of anyone with a relationship to the theatre – single ticket buyers, subscribers, donors, potential audience members…The technology involved in both of these roles is enough to make my head spin, but to Bethany Mosher, it’s just another day on the job…

20 Questions for Bethany Mosherbethany mosher

JW: Give us your basic details – who are you, where are you from…
I grew up in Pulaski, NY – a small town about 40 miles north of Syracuse. If you snowmobile or salmon fish, you have probably heard of it! I am the youngest of 5 children, which I am reminded of often! I graduated from SUNY Geneseo and stayed in the Rochester area after that. I am married with an 8 month old daughter, two cats and a dog.

JW: What’s the first play you remember seeing?
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse, NY. Every year, our entire elementary school took a field trip there around the holidays to see a show.

JW: Where did you go to school? Did you study theatre?
I started off studying Computer Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Although I still enjoy math and physics, it was clear engineering was not for me! I transferred to SUNY Geneseo and double-majored in Business Administration and Communications with a minor in Marketing. I just finished my masters degree from Syracuse University in Museum Studies.

JW: When did you know you were destined to work in a theatre?
After working in the “corporate” world for a few years, it was clear to me that I needed to work for a place that I love and am truly passionate about the work they create. My love for arts goes beyond theatre and into other sectors as well. But I know there is no going back now!

JW: What would you say is the best part of your job?
I am a dork and really enjoy working with our donor/ticketing database. Numbers and spreadsheets are my thing. There have been some significant challenges in the system that have come up since I started working here. I like that no one has been able to figure them out before me and I get to take all the credit!

JW: And we are very happy to give you that credit…Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Which theatrical giants’ shoulders do you stand on?
Bonnie Butkas, the Director of Development here at Geva, has been my “giant.” She has been my biggest cheerleader. Her positive feedback on my abilities and concern over my professional growth has made me the confident person that I am now.

JW: If you had a job in theatre that wasn’t the one you actually have, what would it be? (Talent for this role is not required…)
The Executive Director (watch out Tom…I am coming for you!)

JW: Oooh…a little friendly competition? When people ask you to describe Rochester, what do you say?
A smaller city but has a large arts/cultural-scene for its size.

JW: What’s your favorite Rochester-area attraction?
I would be a terrible employee if I didn’t say Geva Theatre Center! But I also love the Strong National Museum of Play. I am a big kid at heart and love anything games, puzzles and toys.

JW: If you were stranded on a desert island, and could only bring a playwright with you (I know – that’s sort of random, isn’t it?), who would you bring?
The person themselves or a compilation of works? Either way…I have no idea!

JW: Is there a place you haven’t yet been that you’d most like to visit?
Ireland – I am interested in my lineage and would love to research my family tree a bit more and go there and find where I came from.

JW: What books are on your nightstand right now?
The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance and Where the Sidewalk Ends

JW: Oh my – if I had known such a book existed when my son was little…but I bet reading it would have put me to sleep before finding the answers to my questions…What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming season?
The launching of the new Geva website!

JW: Ah! Letting the cat out of the bag, are we? Speaking of, there’s been a rash of kitten and puppy adoption amongst the Geva staff this summer. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Cats – although my cats act more like dogs. They fetch, come when called, and are really needy. My dog acts like a human – which is probably why I like my cats more!

JW: What person from history most interests you?
Marilyn Monroe – I find her short life to be very interesting. Even more fascinating is the fixation we have placed on her as an American icon and how the views of women have changed since her time.

JW: Our first production of the 2013-2014 season features pie – what’s your favorite kind?
I don’t like pie! Well, pie crust really. I love cherry pie, but just eat the filling and leave the rest.

JW: If you were going to take a road trip, and could only bring three people with you, who would you bring?
My husband, my daughter, and a babysitter!

JW: Imagine you are placing an order at a restaurant, and they ask your name for the order. You don’t give them your real name. What name do you give?
Betty – such a wonderfully classic name

JW: What would we find in the backseat of your car?
A car seat, a stroller, a blanket in case I get stranded in a snow storm, and 5 empty Dunkin Donuts bags

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