Episode 57: Mounting a Comeback for Edith Wharton’s Legacy

Susan Wissler, Executive Director of The Mount, shares her experience of bringing an organization back from the precipice, and how retiring its $9M debt helped its community rethink what a historic home can be.

Susan WisslerSusan Wissler joined The Mount in 2001 as Vice President and became Executive Director in 2008. Ms. Wissler graduated from Brown University, received a J.D. from Columbia University, and, prior to joining The Mount, practiced law in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Highlights of Ms. Wissler’s sixteen years at The Mount include the return of Wharton’s books to the library, the retirement of The Mount’s debt, and most recently, welcoming over 50,000 visitors to the property in 2017.
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Episode 22: Leadership Change Needn’t Be A Crisis

There’s an enormous amount of generational leadership change that’s happening in our arts and cultural organizations. And while people may liken succession planning to a form of disaster preparedness, Old Sturbridge Village – the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast – sees it differently.

Jim Donahue, President and CEO of Old Sturbridge Village, discusses their intentional processes around leadership change – how it’s not just about the end of a person’s tenure, but about sustaining a strong organization (even if nobody leaves).

Jim Donahue, President and CEO of Old Sturbridge VillageJim Donahue is highly regarded in the non-profit sector as a collaborative visionary. He is recognized as one of the top non-profit executives in New England with an impressive background in leadership, education, and fund-raising.
Prior to taking the position as President and CEO for Old Sturbridge Village, Donahue was the CEO of the Bradford Dunn Institute for Learning Differences in Providence, RI.  The Institute operates a network of high-quality programs that include The Hasbro Center for Teaching Excellence, the RI Tutorial and Educational Services, and the CVS Highlander Charter School, which Donahue founded in 2000. Donahue negotiated the merger between the Bradford Dunn Institute and CVS Highlander Charter School in 2004. During his seven year tenure as the director of the charter school, he led the renovation of two campuses for the school and the establishment of several key capacity-building partnerships.
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