A familiar fixture in the artists’ courtyard on Beach Boulevard since 2008, the IAC has restructured its Board of Directors as it prepares to move forward in broadening its scope as a community asset.
As the economy declined in 2008, and the Industrial Art Center's finances collapsed, Lynn DiVenuti & Amy Oatley took over management. Acting as Board President, Treasurer, & Secretary, DiVenuti, with Oatley as her Executive Director, focused almost exclusively on operations & revenue generation during that difficult period. After successfully concluding the popular IAC Chili Cookoff fundraising event in September, DiVenuti & Oatley retired, turning over the reins to a restructured Board of Directors.
Award winning glass blower & GMA vice-president Owen Pach was elected the new Board President on Friday, 19th October.
“We’re really pleased,” observed DiVenuti, “that a glass blower of Owen’s stature will be running the organization.”
Joining Pach’s new management team are Doug Hudson as V.P., CPA David Hastings as Treasurer, & Gulfport newcomer Jenn Vultaggio as Secretary. Says Pach of his officers, “We have a deep talent pool here, and a lot of enthusiasm.” Rounding out the Board are Brad Bedillion, Gina Burke, Jonathan Schork, & IAC Founder & Outreach Coordinator Jackie Ballard.
Among the new Board’s objectives: to upgrade the glass shop infrastructure to attract more visiting glass-blowers; to expand the current curriculum to include ceramics & metal casting; to streamline & professionalize the volunteer & teaching programs; & to develop a modest retail inventory. “This is an exciting time for the IAC,” Pach remarked, adding, “The time is right for us to start building again.”
The IAC is open during every 1st Friday & 3rd Saturday Artwalk, and the Tuesday Fresh Market. For more information on classes, hours of operation, and volunteer opportunities, visit industrialartscenter.org, or "like" the IAC on Facebook.
Special thanks to Jonathan Schork and the Industrial Arts Center for sharing this information, (press release), with Gulfport Patch.