Phillips Oppenheim Seeks New Leader for the National Arts Club

March 6, 2018 – With the economy strong, hiring in the non-profit sector continues to gain momentum. Recently, the 120-year old National Arts Club (NAC) in New York City enlisted non-profit search specialist Phillips Oppenheim to lead its search for a new executive director. Becky Klein and Mark Tarnacki are spearheading the search.

NAC is looking for a leader to serve as the external face of the institution and to bring the organization to a more prominent level of public awareness, engagement, service and support to its members and the city’s cultural community, said the search firm.

In collaboration with its 21-member board of governors, a strong infrastructure of volunteer artistic leadership and the general manager and professional administrative staff, the inaugural executive director will “set the strategic direction and provide vision and leadership toward growing artistic excellence and ensuring long-term financial sustainability,” said Phillips Oppenheim.

The Ideal Fit

The executive director is expected to be a creative and visionary leader with a demonstrated commitment to the arts, the search firm said. The individual will be responsible for thoroughly understanding the NAC and its unique governance, operational and social structures; gain comprehensive knowledge of NAC’s history, traditions, membership, programs and operations, and its multifaceted sources of financial support.

The ideal candidate will have a deep and passionate commitment to the arts, education, and historic preservation, with a network of contacts in those communities, said Phillips Oppenheim. Prospects must also possess a proven track record as an enthusiastic and entrepreneurial fundraiser with measurable results in identifying, cultivating and soliciting major donors.

Why Recruiters Center On Fundraising Skills
Organizations nationwide are under pressure to find leaders who can act as de facto chief fundraisers – and recruiters are in lock step to find talent to satisfy the demand. These leaders need to be strategic thinkers who can motivate the stakeholders whose philanthropy pulls everything together.

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With an annual operating budget of $5.8 million, NAC has an eclectic, multidisciplinary approach to fostering the arts and arts education. It provides unique artistic, educational and social experiences to its membership.

Finding Mission-Driven Leaders

Phillips Oppenheim, founded in 1991, provides mission-driven organizations with senior leaders from the business, public and non-profit sectors. It sponsors roundtable discussions, participates in workshops and conferences and acts as informal counsel to non-profit organizations and their boards.

Ms. James, a partner at Phillips Oppenheim, has been recruiting talent for local, national and international non-profit institutions and corporations since 1996. She has helped find executives for leading aide, advocacy, cultural, education, environmental, faith-based, healthcare, philanthropic and social service institutions.

Mr. Tarnacki, who started at the firm in 2001 and serves as principal, has a diverse industry background of recruiting leadership in both financial services and media. Leveraging his experience in higher education and the arts, he has executed non-profit searches, including work with the International Rescue Committee, Community Foundation of New Jersey, Columbia University and the American Red Cross in Greater New York.

Recent Search Work

Phillips Oppenheim has recently been involved in number of high-profile searches for a wide range of non-profit organizations. Here is a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

The firm was recently tapped by New Jersey-based non-profit Table to Table to lead its search for a new chief philanthropy officer. Consultants Susan Meade and Jim Spivey are spearheading the assignment. Table to Table is a community-based food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to …

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is seeking a new director to replace Thomas P. Campbell, who stepped down last year. The oldest and possibly most prestigious museum in the U.S. turned to Phillips Oppenheim to fill the position. Ms. James and partner Becky Klein are leading the search.

Just recently, the firm placed Tom Ogilvie-Graham as the new CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation. Mr. Tarnacki led the search along with consultant Addie Jones. Mr. Ogilvie-Graham joined the organization from the St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group. The CEO will serve as the principal ambassador for the foundation.

Phillips Oppenheim also placed Louise Bernard as the director of the Barack Obama Presidential Museum in Chicago. Ms. Bernard is looking to play a crucial role in helping former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama firm up and design the programming “narrative” of the museum, a project that has been underway for months.

Lastly, the firm recruited Michael J. Barsanti as chief executive officer of The Library Company of Philadelphia. Ms. Meade led the search along with principal Adelaide Jones. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the organization is America’s oldest cultural institution and served as the Library of Congress from the Revolutionary War to 1800. 

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

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