Arts Consulting Group Seeking New Leader for the New England Museum Association

May 22, 2023 – Boston-based search firm Arts Consulting Group (ACG) has been enlisted to find the next executive director for the New England Museum Association (NEMA). Wyona Lynch-McWhite, senior vice president, and Geoff Chang, vice president, are leading the assignment for the search firm.

Reporting to the board of directors, the executive director of NEMA will be responsible for supervising all aspects of management, operations, membership, conference, and strategic partnerships, with a particular focus on fundraising, advocacy, and communications. As a primary spokesperson for NEMA, the executive director will foster positive connections with museums and museum professionals across New England and beyond and will advocate for museums with civic leaders locally, regionally, and nationally.

Committed to the museum field and the needs of NEMA members, the executive director will recognize systemic racism, white supremacy, colonialism, and other forms of discrimination in the museum field and model work on DEAIJ initiatives both internally and externally. The executive director will collaborate with a small, yet dedicated, staff, sharing duties at all levels, as well as with an engaged board, as an integrated team to achieve NEMA’s strategic priorities. They will champion NEMA’s mission, values, and core principles, building authentic relationships to support the organization’s operational and programmatic goals.

The executive director will be an inspiring leader who demonstrates strong interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. Flexible and humble, they will be an excellent communicator who actively listens and values interaction with all, according to Arts Consulting Group. “They will be innovative and receptive to new ideas and new ways of doing things,” the firm said. “This leader will be an authentic people-oriented leader, who is able to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for NEMA staff and members. Collaborative and versatile, they will be an engaged team player comfortable with delegating authority when appropriate and exert authority when needed. They will be comfortable rolling up their sleeves and taking on tasks large and small to support the team and the organization.”

Related: Arts Consulting Group is Tapped to Find Executive Director for New England Foundation for the Arts

Other key competencies include:

  • Teamwork and diplomacy – The ability to cooperate with others to meet objectives, while effectively and tactfully handling difficult or sensitive issues.
  • Personal accountability and continuous learning – The capacity to be answerable for personal actions, while taking initiative to regularly learn new concepts, technologies, and/or methods.
  • Creativity and innovation – The dexterity to create new approaches, designs, processes, technologies, and/or systems to achieve a desired result.
  • Appreciating others and interpersonal skills – The sensitivity to empathize with and care about others, while effectively communicating, building rapport, and relating well to all kinds of people.

The New England Museum Association can be traced back more than 100 years ago to the first “New England Conference” organized by Delia Isabel Griffin, founding director of the Boston Children’s Museum. Since then, NEMA has grown to become the country’s largest and one of the most active regional museum association with programs and services that extend beyond the region’s borders. The organization hosts a variety of programs and events throughout the year, including networking receptions, educational webinars and workshops, roundtables with leaders, and the annual conference attended by an average of 800 museum professionals; where Publications, Excellence, and Lifetime Achievements Awards are given. Resources for the field include NEMA Marketplace, New England Museums Now (an online journal), NEMA jobs, Museum Document Exchange, NEMA 911, and Professional Affinity Gatherings. 

Arts and Culture Recruiters

Arts Consulting Group provides interim management, executive search, revenue enhancement consulting, facilities and program planning, and organizational development services for the arts and culture industry. The firm has identified senior-level leaders for the Long Beach Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Chicago Opera, Stockton Symphony Association and Portland Baroque Orchestra, among others. The firm has offices in Boston; Calgary; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Halifax; Los Angeles; Nashville, TN; New York; Portland, OR; San Francisco; Tampa, FL; Toronto; and Washington, D.C.

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President Bruce D. Thibodeau founded ACG in 1997 and has been part of numerous projects in all practice areas to grow institutional sustainability, advance the arts and culture sector, and enhance communities served by the industry. Dr. Thibodeau has guided hundreds of non-profit, university and government clients in achieving effective leadership transitions, planning cultural facilities, increasing revenues, developing dynamic institutional brands and messages, crafting strategic plans and business models, and revitalizing board governance practices.

Ms. Lynch-McWhite joined ACG as vice president in 2016, bringing more than 21 years of experience leading art, university, and multidisciplinary museums. Her areas of expertise include executive search, museum planning, organizational assessments, strategic visioning, fundraising, and diversity training. As an executive search practice leader, she has led numerous search processes throughout the U.S. and Canada, placing executive leaders for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, universities, and government agencies. Ms. Lynch-McWhite has also provided effective solutions in the areas of earned revenue enhancement, strategic planning, and museum planning.

Mr. Chang joined ACG in 2020, bringing a rich background of experience within the arts and culture industries, specifically within the dance sector. Mr. Chang most recently served as general manager at the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn, New York, where he produced performances at many of the world’s leading cultural venues and arts festivals.

Related: Arts Consulting Recruits New Leader for Martha’s Vineyard Museum 

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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