Stockbridge, MA, May 19, 2014—Norman Rockwell Museum announces today new appointments to its executive leadership team, with the hiring of Michelle Clarkin as chief advancement officer, and Jill Gellert as the Museum’s chief operating officer. Ms. Clarkin commences her role immediately, filling a vacancy in the Museum’s lead fundraising post, and Ms. Gellert assumes her role on July 1, upon the retirement of Terry Smith, who has served as COO since 2004.
“I am delighted to welcome Jill and Michelle to our Museum leadership during this 45th anniversary year,” notes Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO of Norman Rockwell Museum. “Each of these talented executives brings a wealth of experience in not-for-profit leadership, as well as innovative management and relationships through the distinguished tenures of their previous work.”
“We also bid a fond farewell to our colleague Terry Smith, who has expertly overseen the Museum’s finances and operations for the past decade, after a successful career at Berkshire Bank and the former Great Barrington Savings Bank. Terry shepherded the Museum through the financial white waters of the recession, strengthened the Museum’s finances through retirement of our mortgage debt, and growth of the Museum’s investment portfolio; he also oversaw more than $2.5 million of investments in maintenance and upgrades of our historic campus. His responsibilities included oversight of our finances and business office, Museum store and warehouse operations, technology, safety and security, facilities and grounds, and human resources. He has steered this portfolio of services beautifully during his decade of service, and will be greatly missed,” said Ms. Norton Moffatt.
Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus, Tom Pulling commended Smith’s service, noting “Norman Rockwell Museum has been most fortunate to have Terry Smith’s strong hand at the helm of its finances this past decade. The Board of Trustees expresses its deep appreciation to Terry for his service, and wishes him well in his retirement.”
Gellert and Clarkin join the Museum’s executive team, guided by the leadership of Ms. Norton Moffatt, which includes Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, deputy director and chief curator; Margit Hotchkiss, promoted to deputy director of audience and business development last fall; and Holly Coleman, director of human resources.
Michelle Clarkin brings over a decade of experience in fundraising, strategic planning, and communications to the Museum. Her areas of expertise include philanthropy, arts management, and stewardship for public foundations. Prior to joining the Museum, Ms. Clarkin developed successful major gifts and planned giving campaigns for Ms. Foundation for Women, and Barrington Stage Company. Her fundraising work at Smith College helped secure one of the largest gifts in the history of the college, in support of needs-based scholarships.
Clarkin holds a B.A. in Communications and an M.A. in Documentary from the University of London, Goldsmiths College. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and the Norwalk River Watershed Association.
Jill Gellert is a finance and administrative professional with twenty years of nonprofit management experience. She currently serves as the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, where she provides leadership in overseeing the finances, investments and operations of the Foundation. Ms. Gellert was a member of the Fiscal and Administrative Officers Group of the Council on Foundations, and served on the executive committee for 4 years. She is a member of the Endowment Committee at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, and the Committee for Academic Excellence at Taconic Hills Central School.
Gellert graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Management with a degree in finance; she began her career at Manufacturers Hanover Trust in New York City, where she worked in the corporate lending division. She joins the Museum on July 1.
Margit Hotchkiss was promoted in the fall of 2013 from director of marketing and communications, to deputy director for audience and business development. A five-year member of the Museum’s senior leadership team, and seven-year staff member, she is responsible for audience development, enhancing the visitor experience, and optimizing earned income through strategic development, innovation and expansion of new and existing markets. Ms. Hotchkiss continues to direct all aspects of the Museum’s marketing program, as well as visitor services, e-commerce, and event services departments.
“Margit’s skillful combination of strategic thinking, analysis, and creative vision has introduced new opportunities for the Museum’s growth and sustainability,” noted Ms. Norton Moffatt. “As museums focus on developing next-generation audiences and new sources of revenue in a rapidly changing business model, we are fortunate to have Margit’s 25 years of experience as a creative innovator in both the corporate and non-profit arts marketing arenas.”
Museum Celebrates 45th Anniversary
Norman Rockwell Museum celebrates its 45th anniversary of bringing the art of Norman Rockwell and American illustration art to the world, with a gala event on June 7, the opening date of its summer exhibition, “The Unknown Hopper: Edward Hopper as Illustrator.” The Museum continues to expand its collections, and present Rockwell‘s art and life in the context of American Illustration art to a worldwide audience. Reaching diverse audiences through its home campus in Stockbridge, Massachusetts; 14 traveling exhibitions loaned to museums across the U.S. and abroad; and digital collections and scholarship shared universally; together with its retail and ecommerce business, the Museum stands poised to meet new goals in the rapidly changing culture of museums, audience education, and leisure activities.