The Board of Directors of the Brookfield Craft Center (BCC) announced today the departure of Executive Director Richard Herrmann, effective May 31, 2012. He will be leaving the organization after three years to refocus his attention on Ironwood Gallery, the crafts marketing firm he established with Betsy Halliday in 2000, as well as launch a new venture providing affordable marketing services to artists. Richard’s tenure at the Craft Center began as it faced a perfect storm of financial crises that threatened to shut it down for the first time since its founding in 1954, and he stepped in to help it regain its footing. Often working with Betsy, who while continuing to run Ironwood has devoted many hours to BCC, Richard revived a community of staff, faculty and volunteers, streamlined information systems, created a dynamic web presence, and revitalized the organization’s popular Holiday Sale.
“Since the economic downturn of 2008, many non profits have faced challenges. Fortunately BCC was able to revive its core programs during this period,” said Board President Bill Markus. “We see encouraging signs in the community and new opportunities for the Craft Center. This transition is the perfect time for an organizational review to help us align our structure for optimal program quality, growth and long-term financial stability.”
To that end, the BCC Board has contracted with Support Center for Non Profit Management to work with the BCC community during this process. An Interim Executive Director will handle day-to-day responsibilities, with recruitment of a permanent Executive Director to follow completion of the organizational review.
Buster Shaw and Jim Degen, members of both BCC’s Board and faculty, will have active roles at the campus during the transition, representing the Board on the Education and Transition Committees. As Jim Degen observes, “With our dual roles, we can see issues from two different perspectives. As we move forward I want to make the process comfortable for the dedicated staff and volunteers who make the Craft Center what it is. Having gone through many corporate transitions personally, I know firsthand that it can be a stressful experience.”
Heather Lawless, BCC’s Education Director will be another important voice in the process. “Over the last 10 months we have gained tremendous momentum in our education programs. I am excited by our progress thus far, and look forward to working with the Support Center to advance the Craft Center to the next stage of vitality and prominence in the craft community.”
Barbara Drillick, Special Projects Coordinator, Deb Cooper, Registrar, and Jillian Doherty, Retail Coordinator will all continue to provide the structure and services relied on by BCC members, students and faculty to keep things moving smoothly, with no disruption of class schedules, open studios or gallery operations.