After a search that took a little more than a month, the Marco Island Center for the Arts has a new leader.
The board of directors named Lynn M. Holley as its new executive director. Tuesday marked Holly’s first day on the job.
Board president Ken Stroud said the non-profit agency received applications from 30 candidates. The list was narrowed to five people who underwent interviews with the Center’s search committee. Holly’s experience as a curator, gallery director, publisher and journalist made her stand out, Stroud said.
“What was interesting to us was she was from Santa Barbara,” noted Stroud, adding that the southern California community is similar to Marco in size and economics. “Based on that, her experience and her personality, she was the best fit.”
Holley, who lived in Sarasota many years ago, always wanted to return to Florida, but moved to California instead. A few months ago, she made the decision to move to the Naples area and begin a job search.
“I saw the ad a year ago when (the Center) was looking for an executive director, but I wasn’t ready to move yet,” she explained during a phone interview. “Then this came up by accident – or design.”
Before moving to Southwest Florida, Holley worked as the curator and gallery director at the Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center. She has also led a number of non-profit organizations, worked in academia and in 2010 co-founded the Fine Arts Film Festival which premiered in California. In addition, Holly is an independent art consultant, freelance journalist and writer, whose essays have appeared nationally. According to the press release announcing her appointment, Holley’s “writing and marketing strategies (have) won numerous awards.”
After just a few days on the job, she already has several ideas to implement. Her first goal is to set short-term strategies regarding workshops, membership development and community partnerships.
“I think it’s important to work with the community above all else,” said Holley.
Long-term, the center’s new leader also wants to expand children’s programming, educational exhibitions and create unique lectures.
According to Stroud, those strategies are part of the board’s benchmarks, which also include implementing the Center’s established business plan, fundraising and increasing the sale of gallery art.
“We think she will help us tremendously,” he added. “We hope to have her for a very long time.”
Holley replaces D. Michaels who resigned in April after being on the job for a little more than six months. Michaels moved to Tampa where her husband accepted a job offer.
The terms of Holley’s contract have not been released, however Stroud noted that a 30-day ‘out clause’ is included.
Holley said she doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.
“The center is beautiful and has some exciting potential,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a very exciting time for the center and for me.”