My friend Richard Rife, who is on the board, but did not participate in the selection, wrote me, "I’ve spoken to two of the board members that interviewed him and they were very impressed with his understanding of our financial and programming issues. He had obviously done his homework and had some very strong ideas on how to move the theatre forward. I’m very optimistic about the future of the Grandin."
Here's board chairman Nick Brash's announcement: "The executive director search committee has made a selection from our applicants and has hired Ian Fortier to be our new executive director. Ian is currently the director of patron services at the Jefferson Center and has held that position since March 2010. Ian comes with very good credentials and has the experience and determination the Foundation needs to enable us to continue on the path we've chosen.
"We're all very excited to see him come on board and he will be starting on Sept. 2. He plans to attend our next board meeting to introduce himself to everyone.
"I've gotten very good reactions from the community regarding the changes we've made and those we plan to make in the services and programs provided by the Foundation. It should be an exciting fall and we still have lots of work to do to enable Ian and the staff to be able to implement all the great ideas the board members have put forth."
Since Chittum's departure, the theater has been a much more user-friendly place and I'm getting the feeling the Grandin has once again become a community theater with the emphasis on "community." Let's hope Ian can maintain that.