The James A. Michener Art Museum announced growth-focused changes in leadership. A newly-formulated board named a transition team of three experienced senior directors, led by CFO Gary Ellis, to replace former executive director Kate Quinn, who left the museum at the end of 2021. Ellis is joined by chief curator Laura Turner Igoe, Ph.D., and director of operations Jason Kobilnyk to ensure the financial, curatorial and operational areas of the museum continue to serve the community.
The museum has also hired several new members to the executive leadership team, including Diane Guvenis, chief development officer; Joshua Lessard, director of exhibitions; Aisling Lavery, director of public engagement; and Heike Rass, director of marketing and communications.
In addition, board chair Virginia W. Sigety, a trustee since 2005, welcomed new board members in 2021: Dr. Vail Garvin, president and CEO of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce; Patricia Gorsky, former nurse/community leader and philanthropist; and book editor and former print news reporter Rhoda McKinney-Jones, the youngest daughter of the late civil rights leader, Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, of Seattle. This year, the board welcomes its new trustee Robert Byers Jr., president of Byers’ Choice Ltd. and director of Penn Community Bank.
“The Michener is expanding in strategic and thoughtful ways with the addition of several seasoned and well-respected leaders and board members,” said Sigety. “We are financially sound and well-positioned to move into the future.”
In recognition of her contributions to the museum, the board of trustees thanked Quinn for her steady stewardship throughout the pandemic and reopening of the museum.
“It’s been a privilege to work at the Michener and to get to know the people and vibrant cultural scene of Bucks County,” said Quinn. “Museums like the Michener are important cultural centers within the community. I am proud of all we have achieved during these challenging times.”
Under the leadership of trustees Whitney Chandor and James McKinney, a committee is being formed to conduct a national search for a successor.
In 2022, as part of community-focused and mission-driven cultural offerings, the museum will present two special exhibitions this year – Keith Haring: A Radiant Legacy, opening March 12, and Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes in the fall.