Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Center for Arts leader Boettger steps down

Executive director seeks more flexible schedule, time with kids

Express Staff Writer

Sally Boettger resigned last week as the executive director the Ketchum-based Sun Valley Center for the Arts. Express file photo

    After serving three years as executive director for the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Sally Boettger is stepping down.
    The announcement was made through a news release on Jan. 16, in which the organization’s board President John Gaeddert praised her for her work.
    “We’re saddened to see Sally move on,” Gaeddert said. “During her tenure, Sally helped lead the merger with Company of Fools, moved forward our negotiations with the Simplots to build a new facility (in Ketchum), oversaw implementations of stronger financial controls, managed the hiring of numerous new employees, and led The Center through several successful wine auctions.”
    Boettger said she had considered leaving for a while, and that the final decision was a difficult one. She told Gaeddert of her intention to step down on Jan. 3. As she pursues new business-consulting opportunities, Boettger said she will still be committed to living in the Wood River Valley and supporting The Center as a volunteer.
    “Seeing the access I have to arts and culture makes me feel so lucky to live here,” Boettger said. “The Center has meant so much to me. I feel richer personally, and not isolated geographically. I’ve learned so many things since working here, as this is an exceptionally generous community.”
    She added that her most memorable experience on the job was one in which she spent time with a couple of monks and her children.
    “I’d like to strike a different work-life balance for myself and my kids,” she said. “I want to fully maximize where I live. I don’t play in the great outdoors as much as I’d like to, and I look forward to having a more flexible schedule. This is a very personal choice, and The Center is still in a great place.”

I want to fully maximize where I live.”
Sally Boettger
Sun Valley Center for the Arts

    Gaeddert said The Center will initiate a national search for a new executive director immediately, and Artistic Director Kristin Poole will assume the director’s responsibilities during the search. Poole said she enjoyed a positive relationship with Boettger during the past three years in which the two shared leadership of the organization.
    “It’s been a great working relationship,” Poole said. “We’re really different people, and we’ve complemented each other really, really well. Sally has been more of a managerial and business head, while I’ve been able to hold onto the artistic vision and programming of this organization.”
    Poole, who has worked for The Center since 1983, said organization has improved immensely over the years, and has expanded in its programming and variety of artistic offerings.
    “When this first started, the organization was really geared towards where studio artists from all over the nation could come in and work,” Poole said. “There was a deep study of the humanities at an academic level, and our goals have shifted up, down and around in many ways as we try to serve the needs of the community.
    “We’ve always tried to change based on the needs of the community. We’re really lucky to serve such a hugely sophisticated and dedicated audience.”
    The Center merged with the Company of Fools theater performance group last year and now has 18 full-time employees. The Company of Fools plans on performing the play “Good People” in mid-February. Poole said The Center plans on having Ian Frazier, a former writer for The New Yorker magazine, and food journalist Mark Bittman, hold lectures in March.
    Boettger said she is excited for The Center’s future.
    “The staff is amazingly talented here,” Boettger said. “We communicate very well, and the board is very active and currently in a great place. The professionalism here is awesome. The executive director position here is one of the best professional opportunities in this area.”
    Boettger said she plans on pursuing opportunities to help various businesses in the area improve operations with her depth of experience.
    “I like to help organizations and businesses of any kind to achieve their most ambitious of goals,” Boettger said. “I have a diverse set of experiences to do that using analytical skills and to fix things that are a bit broken to help improve them. Projects that allow me to go deep and make recommendations going forward into the future are really my sweet spot.”
Eric Avissar:

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