Jody Gifford, executive director of Ballet Des Moines, will step down from her role at the organization's helm, the organization recently announced. Gifford started as executive director in June 2014. She is stepping down to spend more time with family and to resume freelance writing and communications for clients in and around Des Moines. Gifford will continue to contract with Ballet Des Moines to provide public relations and communications services. The organization does not plan to hire a new executive director. Instead, Ballet Des Moines Board President Tom Smull said company and finance manager Kelly Ahr will handle human resources, bookkeeping and operations duties. The board plans to hire a fundraising director for the 2015-16 season, and Smull said anyone interested in the position should contact him via email.