People / Our Staff

Walter Zooi

Executive Director

Walter is an organizational leader and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in program development, strategic planning, and driving organizational change. As executive director of the Young Musicians Foundation, he led a radical organizational restructuring in order for YMF to focus solely on bringing music education, and all of its attendant social, emotional, healing, and developmental advantages to underserved communities and frequently marginalized populations. Today, YMF serves over 4,800 students at 42 schools and sites across greater LA and is in the process of building a new, state-of-the-art facility in Historic South Central LA. Prior to YMF, Walter founded the South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory, a community-based music school that taught over 10,000 students and employed over 100 teachers in its 14 year existence. As director of communications at the California Institute of the Arts he oversaw the branding and development communications program for both the Institute and the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He held a similar position with USC’s Thornton School of Music, where he was part of the development team that helped secure Flora L. Thornton’s $25 million naming gift to the school.

Walter is a native of Philadelphia, where he attended Temple University. He is currently completing an M.S. in Philanthropic Leadership through the University of Denver.