Interim Center for the Performing Arts director speaks on staff turnover


Soon a search will be underway for the new CEO of The Center for the Performing Arts, but that’s not the only position that will need to be filled at the Carmel arts nonprofit.

Since May, the Center has lost or will lose its vice president of marketing and communications, vice president of finance and vice president of the Great American Songbook Foundation.

Although many are leaving around the same time as CEO Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, who left earlier this month for a new position in Chicago, the timing is just coincidental, according to interim CEO Jeff McDermott.

“I’m convinced there’s no connection to Tania’s departure,” he said. “I’ve talked to (vice president of the foundation) Karen Kelsey for two years, and we knew this was in the works. For the others, one was a stay-at-home mom and the other is a new opportunity. It’s the normal transition of any organization.”

Kelsey is retiring from the nonprofit, housed in the Palladium, and will be replaced by Christopher Lewis, formerly the director of programs for the foundation.

“We knew this day was coming for her, but she wanted to time it right because we didn’t want to take away from Tania’s leaving and her new position,” said McDermott, who has served as chairman of the board for the foundation. “It will be seamless on Jan. 1. He’s well prepared to take that on.”

Vice president of marketing and communications was already an open position because Anne O’Brien left in May, months before Moskalenko announced her departure in August. McDermott said interviews will take place in October and they hope to fill the position by year’s end.

Susan Meyer, vice president of finance, left July 15 before Moskalenko announced her departure. McDermott said they plan to make that hire by year’s end without a search firm.

As for Moskalenko’s replacement, the board for the Center met recently for an update, but no search committee has been formed yet. McDermott said it’s unlikely a search firm will be hired, but that’s not just to save cost.

“We wanted to kind of assess where we are with the searches that are underway and the board is still forming a smaller, leaner search committee than we had four years ago when we found Tania,” he said. “I think we can have a leaner team so we can work more efficiently, and I don’t think we need a search firm. I think it’s going to be sought-after position nationally.”

McDermott is on sabbatical from Krieg Devault, where he’s a partner, until a permanent replacement is found. He said he intends to return to his law firm and thanks them for the time to help his community.



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