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Trustees Name Nechie Hall as Interim CEO

Hall makes history as first woman to take top job in FAC’s 77 years

COLORADO SPRINGS (Dec 17, 2013)  — The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Board of Trustees announced today the appointment of longtime Springs advertising, marketing and communications executive Nechie Hall to the post of interim president and CEO.

Hall, along with her husband, Jim, founded PRACO (Public Relations Advertising Company), now Vladimir Jones, Colorado’s third largest woman-owned business and one of the state’s largest agencies. While she still serves as CEO and Chairman, Hall retired from day-to-day operations of the company, which are being led by her daughter, Meredith Hall Vaughan.

“Having the freedom to take the reins of this historic institution puts me square in the middle of my lifelong passion for the arts and love of the Fine Arts Center,” Nechie said. “I believe in the importance of the arts in building a healthy quality of life and a strong economic environment for our community. This opportunity to help not only maintain stability of staff and funding sources, but to help identify relevance for all audiences, taps into my strengths.”

She is uniquely qualified, as a business leader, a community leader, a devotee — and a student herself – of the arts, and a highly respected thought-leader throughout the state. She brings experience, passion and talent in business management, nonprofit governance, community outreach, marketing, public relations, branding and organizational development to what is already such a high-quality portfolio at the FAC.

Hall served as a Trustee of the Fine Arts Center from 1998 to 2004, during which time she was a member of the Executive Committee and Vice Chair of Board. She also served as Marketing Committee Chair.

She has served on upwards of fifteen other non-profit boards, championed pro bono projects through her agency for important community needs, and is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades related to her industry and the community, including the first woman to be honored as the Chamber Business Citizen of the Year.

Hardly new to the transition process, Hall has aided many local and national organizations, throughout her career, by going into their businesses to assist with on-site transition management.

She arrives at the FAC at a time of change.

Board member David Kunstle, who has served as chair of the Leadership Transition Team responsible for leading the interim CEO process, said that out of a wide field of strong candidates, Hall stood out.

“The Board is delighted that Nechie has agreed to serve as Interim CEO,” Kunstle said. “She loves the arts and knows this organization well, having previously been a Trustee for many years. Nechie is a natural leader and communicator, the community deeply respects her, and we are thrilled to have her re-energizing and guiding the Fine Arts Center and its outstanding staff during this interim period.”

Board Chairman Dr. Jim Raughton has served as acting CEO since the departure of previous CEO Sam Gappmayer, assuring continuity, stability and leadership. The trustees and the Leadership Transition Team expressed that his vision and enthusiasm have been instrumental in aiding with this transition.

“We’d like to thank Jim for stepping up, without a moment’s hesitation to serve as Acting CEO,” Kunstle said. “His passion, leadership and his effective outreach to key donors have been invaluable in helping us through this transition.”

Raughton said he was happy to help an organization that’s been so dear to him, and he believes that he hands to Hall an FAC poised for bigger things.

“We’ve turned a corner, and there are real opportunities in the immediate future,” he said. “I’m confident that Nechie Hall has the business acumen — in cooperation with the Leadership Transition Team and the trustees — to capture the tremendous potential of the Fine Arts Center.”

As part of the strategic process and ongoing vision for the future of this historic institution, Hall will proactively work with the board, staff and vendors on guiding robust plans already in place, as well as anticipated updates and modifications to amenities and services, such as restaurant facilities and gift shop offerings as well as an expanded slate of special events.

The FAC is also currently conducting a national search for a Development Director, and has simultaneously begun implementing the search process for a permanent CEO.

“I am a leader who loves change because I believe it is cathartic and presents numerous opportunities for organizations to think differently,” Hall said. “I believe it also enables the staff to demonstrate their strengths in a fresh new way and this alone can create excitement and energy if managed appropriately.  What I glean from time there will go a long way in helping the board build a more in-depth understanding of exactly what the FAC needs, what the culture is like, and where the strengths and weaknesses are.”
Hall will be the first woman CEO in the FAC’s 77-year history.