Small State Big Impact

Jason DaPonte Shares PPAC’s Power

jasonAs with many CPA firms, giving back to the community through volunteer service is a focus of Sansiveri, Kimball & Co. For Jason DaPonte, a partner at the Providence-based firm and a board member of the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC), it’s been exciting, ... especially to see the impact of PPAC on the city of Providence, the state and throughout the region.

“PPAC is a non-profit but it’s a financially strong and stable organization with a great management team. The economic impact is pretty dramatic,” explains Jason, who joined the 40+ person Board of Directors in 2013.

PPAC’s website describes it as a 3100-seat, world class venue located in the heart of Providence’s arts and entertainment district; it is the second largest theatre of its kind in the country.  PPAC is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The theatre became known as the “Jewel of Weybosset Street” after its doors opened as Loew’s State Movie Palace in 1928.

Getting The Show On The Road

“What a lot of us don’t see is that when a show opens for a national tour, there are dozens of people in Providence for many weeks before it begins. People are working to get the show on the road, literally and figuratively. PPAC has a great mix of performances from one-night events to large Broadway shows that may bring as many as 75,000 people in a three-week span to Providence restaurants, hotels, parking lots and beyond,” said Jason.

A 2014 independent economic impact study reflected that Broadway shows that opened their national tours at PPAC in 2013-14 (Evita, Once, and the new Phantom of the Opera) generated $13 million dollars of direct economic impact into the community. When combined with PPAC’s regular season footprint of $20 million a year, a total of $33 million was infused into the community from additional jobs, hotel rooms, advertising expenditures and other direct expenditures by traveling companies and their staffs.

Jason further notes that PPAC receives no public funding and all income is self-generated from ticket sales, which incorporate restoration fees. Capital-spending campaigns keep the structure updated, utilizing the expertise of local architects who specialize in the historic aspects of the building.

Many Rhode Islanders might remember PPAC’s 1996 capital campaign that greatly expanded the stage to be viable for large, national shows, the first of which was Phantom of the Opera. Over the years, PPAC and the management team under President and CEO Lynn Singleton have developed a first-class reputation and environment to attract a great line-up.

Construction Expertise

While PPAC has its own independent audit team, Jason is on the Finance Committee and is Chairperson of the Construction Review Committee which oversees all the construction projects and a ten-year improvement plan.

His contributions and advice for PPAC mirrors much of his work at Sansiveri. Jason joined the firm as a staff accountant with some private industry experience in 2008. He rose through the ranks and became a partner in January of 2017. Over the course of his professional career, he remained interested in the construction industry.

Today, he is the team leader of the firm’s construction niche and is certified as a Construction Industry Technician (CIT) and a Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP). “I do a lot of consulting work with clients to define the details of their projects and be sure they understand the costs, bidding processes, etc. so they can be successful. Each project is unique so we want to really dig into the numbers to be sure the clients will generate revenue,” says Jason.

Business Of The Arts

Beyond seeing the dramatic impact on the city and state, Jason has enjoyed being part of the behind-the-scenes happenings of a major landmark and attraction such as PPAC. “While my wife was -- and is -- a dancer, my appreciation for the arts has grown tremendously. I love seeing how the theatre operates and realizing how the business and arts sides come together.”

Jason may be reached at: jdaponte@sansiveri.com.

RT

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