The new RACC Search Committee has met twice, and meets every Tuesday morning.
The job description has been updated and reposted to reflect a slight increase in the salary range. Our recruiter, Koya Leadership Partners, has also increased the number of sites where we are posting the opportunity.
We expect to review several new candidates this summer, and will then reconvene approximately 40 community members as part of a confidential interview process.
Frances Portillo has left the Search Committee and Angela Hult has been added to the committee. The Search Committee roster now includes:
- Linda McGeady, co-chair
- Steve Rosenbaum, co-chair
- Osvaldo “Ozzie” Gonzalez
- Alejandro Queral
- Angela Hult
To apply or to recommend a candidate, please contact Koya directly at email@example.com or submit your resume here. We would also greatly appreciate your help sharing the updated job opportunity with your networks: https://koyapartners.com/search/racc-executive-director-21.
In other news:
We’ve received some questions and comments about the new search committee, and wanted to provide some background information that will set the context of where we are today.
RACC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that receives both public and private funding. The public funding is governed by multiple contracts and oversight bodies (including: The City of Portland, Metro, and Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties). RACC’s independent, voluntary Board of Directors is responsible for setting RACC’s vision, approving RACC’s budget and providing fiduciary governance, including hiring, oversight and support of the executive director.
Because RACC relies largely on public funding, we have a heightened obligation to be inclusive, representative, equitable and transparent in our decision-making processes, above and beyond what is expected of most nonprofits.
We do our best to answer all questions regarding our search, except when to do so would compromise the confidentiality of committee deliberations or candidate privacy. Most candidates in the process request that their applications remain confidential.
A common question is: Given RACC’s commitment to transparency and community involvement, why is the search committee now limited to five board members?
Given the need to continue and complete the search expeditiously (and with minimal budget overruns), the Board agreed in April of 2018 that a committee of five people was the ideal size to have an accelerated but comprehensive, equitable and deliberative process.
In appointing five board members to this new Search Committee, the board focused on individuals who:
- Bring a range of thought, skills, experience and networks of support
- Understand RACC’s current situation (people, budget, opportunities, risks, etc.)
- Are independent with no financial interest in the outcome
- Leverage the work of the prior search committee (2 prior members, 3 new ones)
- Are fully dedicated to RACC’s mission
- Will keep an open mind and solicit input from the community
- Have a history or likelihood of working well together
- Have the time and willingness to serve
The Board’s new Search Committee is continuing the search and will recommend one or more candidates to the Board. As with the previous search round, the finalists will be offered confidentiality and the Search Committee’s recommendations to the Board will be non-binding.
A continued commitment to equity and community involvement:
Our Search Committee is committed to utilizing RACC’s equity lens and listening to the community. Throughout this search, we remind ourselves who is impacted and whose voices are missing from the decision-making table, and how to address those gaps. We acknowledge that we all have biases, and we work to disclose and eliminate them.
Our committee is being candid with itself and with the community. We need to face, and then quickly overcome, tough challenges. We need to make decisions quickly, but not too quickly – a small and cohesive committee is more able to be nimble and responsive.
In addition to the committee, more than 40 community members (including some from board and staff) will participate in the evaluation process, and their feedback will help the Search Committee to decide on a recommendation for the RACC board.
Here is the list of previous RACC search panel participants from semi-finalist panels. We will invite these previous participants back, and will be reaching out to people who expressed interest but were unable to attend. A limited number of additional panel spots may be available. Please email the search committee if you are interested EDsearch@racc.org.
We value the community’s input on how we can do better, and we thank those who have proactively shared their concerns, suggestions or support.
As part of continuing and enhancing community input, the Search Committee will:
- Use substantially the same job description and hiring criteria that were informed by a community survey and numerous stakeholder meetings;
- With the interim executive director, host meetings with various groups that have offered feedback;
- Continue to invite Portland City Council and their staff to participate in the confidential evaluation of semi-finalists;
- Continue to invite RACC board and staff to participate in the confidential evaluation of semi-finalists;
- Continue to invite community members to participate in the confidential evaluation of semi-finalists (contact the Search Committee to volunteer)
- Hold workshops with RACC staff to improve alignment of RACC’s values, and to co-create interview questions and evaluations;
- Continue listening and responding to the phone calls, letters and emails we receive.
To apply or to recommend a candidate, please contact Koya directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit your resume here. We would also greatly appreciate your help sharing the updated job opportunity with your networks: https://koyapartners.com/search/racc-executive-director-21/ .
The RACC board and search committee have fielded several questions in the last few weeks regarding the board’s decision to continue RACC’s search for a new Executive Director. We are grateful to community members for their keen interest in this process, and for asking questions and sharing their points of view.
The RACC board stands by its process and decision to continue the search. More than 40 people – including board, staff and other community members – participated in the vetting of our last round of candidates, which unfortunately did not deliver the end result we hoped for. We are certainly disheartened that when offered the position, the finalist we chose was not able to accept. And although we are committed to transparency throughout this process, we cannot discuss the specific reasons for selecting or not selecting any candidate. If this was an elected position and not a Board appointment, a full public discussion of each candidates’ strengths and weaknesses would be appropriate. As it is, all the candidates asked us to sign non-disclosure agreements so that their current jobs would not be at risk, as is very common when recruiting at the executive level.
Despite this setback, we remain dedicated to hiring an outstanding Executive Director and believe we are following and contributing to best practices for search processes, including:
- Having a diverse board and search committee;
- Extensive use of community reviewers;
- Anti-bias training and equity sessions for the search committee;
- Careful crafting of the job profile and interview questions to emphasize diversity, equity, inclusion and transparency;
- Standardization of candidate evaluations;
- Regular public updates;
- And above all, a truly deliberative process.
The search committee has been pared down to five RACC board members (Ozzie Gonzalez, Linda McGeady, Frances Portillo, Alejandro Queral and Steve Rosenbaum) and they will continue to engage the broader group of 40 community members and RACC staff representatives to vet additional candidates as the search continues. We remain open to further comments and critique about our process; the search committee email address is EDsearch@RACC.org.
As the search for an Executive Director continues, a new search committee composed of five RACC board members has been formed. They are:
The committee welcomes your questions and input. Contact EDsearch@racc.org.
(Posted on April 20, 2018)
On April 11 the RACC Board met and authorized a job offer to an outstanding candidate who was the Search Committee’s unanimous recommendation. Unfortunately, the candidate was unable to accept RACC’s offer due to the needs of a family member that surfaced last-minute.
The RACC Board convened again on April 18 and voted unanimously to continue the search with Koya Leadership Partners and a new search committee of five board members, including two previous search committee members. The composition of the new search committee will be announced next week.
Approximately 50 members of the community participated in the previous process. We will be inviting all previous participants to meet and review additional candidates, likely sometime around July.
We are committed to continuing a process that is accountable, transparent, equitable, and one that listens to the community.
The current job prospectus can be found here: https://koyapartners.com/search/racc-executive-director-21/. Interested parties who wish to apply or recommend a candidate should contact Koya Leadership Partners.
We welcome your questions/suggestions/ feedback. Contact us at EDsearch@racc.org.
The RACC Executive Director Search Committee has completed stakeholder focus group evaluations of four semifinalist candidates and expects to make its recommendations to the RACC Board of Directors prior to the April 11 Board meeting.
The Semifinalist Candidate Pool
The semifinalist pool contained candidates selected by the RACC Search Committee from those presented by Koya Leadership Partners.
All candidates are currently employed and requested not to be publicly identified. All participants in the evaluation process are bound by non-disclosure agreements not to reveal the names of candidates.
The semifinalist pool contained one local candidate and three national candidates. The candidate pool was diverse by race and gender.
Description of Semi-Finalist Review Process
- Each candidate was evaluated separately in small groups over the course of an evening and a full day. The evaluators consisted of 11 internal stakeholders + 16 external stakeholders + 10 members of the search committee.
- All stakeholders participating in the process committed to meeting all four candidates at a consistent time slot. There was some flexibility if a stakeholder needed to attend a substitute time slot for one of the candidates.
- The candidate meetings were organized such that each candidate attended two panel interviews, two salons, and three social events organized in as consistent a manner as practical.
- Each stakeholder completed confidential review and comparative analysis forms for the exclusive use of RACC’s Search Committee. Panel interview participants provided supplementary analysis in addition to the forms completed by Salon and Social participants.
The Search Committee has begin reviewing the feedback forms and will be meeting next on April 3.
A Note of Thanks
We are very grateful to the candidates and stakeholders for committing so much time and energy to this process on such short notice.
Thank you to Norris, Beggs & Simpson Companies, the Northwest Health Foundation, the Portland Opera and the Offices of Portland City Commissioners Chloe Eudaly and Nick Fish for their generous hosting of meetings.
- Search Committee Members: Pollyanne Birge, Verlea Briggs, Jenny Chu, Jamie Dunphy, Mike Golub, Phillip Hillaire, Linda McGeady, Jan Robertson, Steve Rosenbaum, Anita Yap
- Other RACCC Board Members: Eileen Day, Katherine Durham, Debbie Glaze, Ozzie Gonzalez, Leslie Heilbrunn, Parker Lee
- RACC Staff: Kristin Calhoun, Helen Daltoso, Sara Farrokhzadian, Jeff Hawthorne, Cynthia Knapp, Salvador Mayoral IV, Marna Stalcup
- Community Members: Jesse Beason, NW Health Foundation; Nick Fenster, NW Children’s Theatre; Elizabett Elsinger, Write Around Portland; Brian Ferriso, Portland Art Museum; Nick Fish, Portland City Commissioner; Cynthia Fuhrman, Portland Center Stage; Subashini Ganesan, NEW Expressive Works; Michael Greer, Oregon Ballet Theatre; India Rae Hamilton, Literary Arts; Kathleen Holt, Oregon Humanities; Linda K. Johnson, dance artist; Christopher Mattaliano, Portland Opera; Andre Middleton, Friends of Noise; Carole Morse, former RACC board member; Van Pham, PICA; Amira Streeter, Office of Commissioner Nick Fish; Steve Wenig, Oregon Symphony
The Search Committee is organizing a diverse sample of community members to meet the semi-finalists. The sample will include board members, staff members, individuals representing organizations, individual artists, and public officials.
All four semi-finalists prefer not to be publicly identified at this time, and as such, all people meeting the semi-finalists will be subject to non-disclosure agreements.
Members of the sample will meet with all four candidates individually in small groups (5-10 people per session) with two representatives of the Search Committee present as facilitators and observers. These meetings will occur March 14-23, and the stakeholders participating in those meetings will fill out feedback forms. The Search Committee will then consider the feedback and make its recommendation to the RACC Board in early April.
We are excited that we have a candidate pool that is diverse in terms of gender, race and current location of the candidates. We are also proud that we selected our semi-finalists through a deliberative and inclusive process that included listening to the community, implicit bias training and removal of bias-inducing personal information during the initial screenings.
The Search Committee welcomes your feedback. Please send emails to EDsearch@racc.org.
The search committee will conduct first-round interviews on February 2 and 3. Last week Koya Leadership Partners presented 13 candidates to the search committee for a blind review (no identifiers), after which the committee selected seven candidates to interview (some local, some out of state).
Applications received by January 31st will still be considered for the initial interview phase.
The search for RACC’s next executive director continues. In early December, all members of the search committee completed unconscious bias training, and the committee will begin interviewing candidates in mid-January. Questions? Comments? The search committee can be reached at email@example.com.
Koya Leadership Partners has reached out to hundreds of potential candidates and continues to discuss the job with potential applicants. In addition, the opportunity has been posted on numerous websites and job boards targeted at arts leaders, cultural leaders and philanthropy professionals, with added emphasis on organizations that cater to diverse audiences.
Koya’s human capital group is providing the RACC Search Committee with an implicit bias training session on December 1st. After the training is completed, the Search Committee will begin reviewing some of the initial applications as presented by Koya.
The position profile is available online at https://koyapartners.com/search/racc-executive-director-21/. The position profile can also be downloaded as a PDF (3 MB).
Applications are still being accepted and will continue to be accepted through at least the end of December 2017. All inquiries should be directed to Koya Leadership Partners, a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm.
(Posted October 26, 2017)
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) Board of Directors, together with its executive search firm Koya Leadership Partners, today released the job description for a new Executive Director. Applications are being accepted now, with a goal of having the new Executive Director in place next spring.
The position profile is available online at https://koyapartners.com/search/racc-executive-director-21/. The position profile can also be downloaded as a PDF (3 MB).
All inquiries about the position and search for candidates should be directed to Koya Leadership Partners, a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm. The search committee selected Koya Leadership Partners because of their track record placing leaders in mission-driven organizations; their experience conducting searches for public arts agencies; and alignment with RACC on equity, diversity and inclusion.
“The RACC search committee and Koya Leadership Partners took an inclusive approach to designing the job description and the search process,” said Steve Rosenbaum, RACC’s board secretary and chair of the search committee. “We are confident that the search process will yield a new leader for RACC who is strategic and visionary, equity-focused and capable of building consensus.”
In June, RACC’s long-time Executive Director Eloise Damrosch retired, and the board spent the summer conducting a series of community conversations and surveys to reimagine and redefine the role of Executive Director going forward. RACC’s Director of Community Engagement, Jeff Hawthorne, has been serving as executive director in the interim.