Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another Good Non-Profit ED Lost to Finances

Jeanne Bollendorf
The dismissal of executive director Jeanne Bollendorf by the History Museum of Western Virginia at a time when the museum should be a shining star among non-profits in the region is sad. Jeanne brought energy, youth and insight to an institution whose membership is old, tired and out of ideas.

Jeanne and development director (the money guy) Sy Hughes were eliminated from an already small staff. Jeanne, at one point, oversaw the museum and the Winston Link museum in the old Norfolk & Western Railway Station when the Link's director left. The Link is in good financial shape, but it had lost its director and the replacement was Jeanne--the go-to gal.

Kim Clymer will continue managing the history museum and Mike McNeil will retain that job at the Link.

Jeanne's salary of $55,000 was a bit on the hefty side for this kind of job in this region, but the museum has generally been stable. The renovations at Center in the Square are getting the blame for the museum's financial problems--as it should. The museum and other residents of Center had to move out for nearly a year and a half and when you move, you must re-establish your identity. Instead, according to Mike Allen's story in a local daily this a.m. (here), it lost 300 members.

Non-profits like the museum are among the quality of life perks we like to point to when talking about living in Roanoke, but they remain in a constant state of financial instability, going through directors like poop through a goose. My good friend Rhonda Morgan, who led the now-defunct Arts Council of the Blue Ridge up until about a year ago, finally got a full-time job (after being interim for a while) in Blacksburg with a museum there. Rhonda is one of the good ones. As is Jeanne. Too bad for us all.

3 comments: