Click photo to enlarge
Sarah Pearce

Two familiar faces will be sliding into place as the Sundance Institute's veteran Managing Director Jill Miller exits after 23 years with the organization. Sarah Pearce and Laurie Hopkins, who both have extensive experience with the Institute, will serve as co-managing directors beginning Jan. 1, just in time to oversee this year's Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 17-27.

Pearce, whose responsibilities for the last 13 years have focused on the Film Festival's operations, will expand that role to cover the London Film and Music Festival, the Institute Labs and community relations in Utah.

Hopkins, whose is currently the Institute's Director of Budgeting and Administration is charged with overseeing finances, human resources and both long- and short-term planning. According to a press release from Sundance, Hopkins's resume includes stints at Powdr Corp. and First Security.

Both are Utah natives and are active in the community. Pearce sits on the board of the Park City Chamber/Bureau and Hopkins is the treasurer of the Summit County Public Arts Advisory Board.

According to Hopkins, "Utah is home for us and we value the friends and partners we have developed in the Utah community. We are thrilled that both of us came from backgrounds in Utah and understand the Utah community and that we can essentially build on and continue. And certainly the great mentoring we have had from Jill is part of that.

"It is really exciting that the organization has looked to promote from within. Laurie and I work really well together. We are looking forward to this leadership partnership, said Pearce, adding, "Being from Utah and an avid skier and a lover of these mountains I feel so blessed to have a career that I love and a beautiful place that I get to live in."

As to whether they plan on initiating any changes this year, Pearce said, "I worked very closely with Jill for over 13 years and she has built such an amazing foundation and a really great jumping off point for us and I am excited to put my own personality on this job.

Hopkins echoed that sentiment saying, "We have a really great team on board and a healthy organization and I am excited to build on that."

Sundance also announced that Brooke McAffee had been named as the Institute's Chief Financial Officer. She has been Sundance's Director of Finance since 2005.