January 11, 2018 – Los Angeles-based Shelli Herman and Associates has recruited Kate Motonaga as the new CFO of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Shelli Herman, president of the recruitment firm, led the search along with her associate, Krista Haley.
MOCA was seeking an experienced, results-oriented CFO for the strategic financial health, operational management and administration of the museum.
Ms. Motonaga fit that bill. She has worked in the finance and accounting fields for more than 25 years, managing budgets up to $1 billion. With a broad reach across functions, she held increasingly senior finance and accounting positions in companies that included Honeywell, California Steel, Avery Dennison and Kaiser Aluminum, followed by 10 years providing CFO-level consulting services to private and public-sector organizations. Ms. Motonaga is joining MOCA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she currently serving as senior associate dean for finance and CFO. She was responsible for strategic financial management and forecasting of the school’s annual budget of approximately $145 million. She will start her new role in early February.
Intellect and Interest
“Kate was the successful candidate because of her extraordinary skills as a finance executive, but also because of her depth of intellect and interest in impacting the Los Angeles community in a more profound way,” said Ms. Herman. “In her new position, she will manage finance, human resources, operations, and technology and this breadth in a portfolio was very compelling for Kate.”
“Finally, she demonstrated an unwavering commitment to and inherent ability to work hand in hand with one of the city’s most prestigious boards,” said Ms. Herman. “MOCA will be embarking on a number of exciting initiatives including a possible comprehensive fundraising campaign and Kate is excited about working with the museum’s leadership team to help realize this effort over the next three to five years.”
In her new role, Ms. Motonaga will help assure the fiscal soundness, workplace effectiveness and provision of the museum’s mission-centric services to the Los Angeles community, said the search firm.
MOCA, established in 1979, remains the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles and the only museum in the area for contemporary art exclusively. The organization strives to engage audiences through an ambitious program of exhibitions, educational programs and publishing. The museum stages events that range from screenings and performances to readings and lectures. It also operates pop-up shops across three distinct venues in Los Angeles: MOCA Grand Avenue, the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and MOCA Pacific Design Center.
Shelli Herman and Associates has completed a number of finance searches for non-profit and higher education clients where this combination of technical skills and mission-centric strategy was required. The firm’s clients have included Otis College of Art and Design, Catalina Island Conservancy, the Annenberg Foundation, Pacific Northwest College of Art, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and University of California, Los Angeles.
“More than ever, organizations are looking for finance executives who can function with deep technical acumen with an eye on the strategic business opportunities,” said Ms. Herman. “The demand for individuals with the full complement of financial, strategic and leadership proficiencies is very high.”
Ms. Herman, who has 20 years of executive recruitment experience, has a strong record of leading searches and building upper management teams for a diverse clientele, including Fortune 500 companies. She has completed senior-level assignments in many industries, including consumer products, healthcare, high technology and finance, as well as for non-profit & cultural organizations.
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