Ballet Des Moines has announced Jody Gifford as the organization's new executive director. Most recently the owner of Gifford Writing & Public Relations, Gifford has also worked as a local editor for Patch.com and as a features reporter and theater critic for The Des Moines Register. She is also a 2013 graduate of the Waukee Leadership Institute. In her role with Ballet Des Moines, Gifford will manage the organization's community presence, focusing on donor and community relations in addition to marketing. Gifford's first day with Ballet Des Moines was June 16.