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After great success during her tenure as chief executive
officer of the Walt Disney
-- in building attendance, increasing the profile of the Museum in the
community, recruiting key staff, developing exhibition and public engagement
programs and a five year strategic plan -- Gabriella Calicchio has resigned her
position to explore other professional opportunities.
"I am leaving the Walt
Disney Family Museum
after a period of strong growth and strengthening the infrastructure of this
organization," said Ms. Calicchio. "It has been my pleasure to lead the Museum
through expansion and enhancement of its programs. This is a wonderful Museum
which stands as a great tribute to Walt Disney's vision and innovation. I am grateful to the Museum's staff and board
for their enthusiasm and dedication to activating the legacy of Walt Disney in
a new way."
In recent months, under Ms. Calicchio's leadership, the
Museum has completed its first strategic plan, revamped and expanded its
managerial structure, launched an exhibitions program and a multi-year
exhibition schedule. The Museum is now well established as a popular tourism
draw in San Francisco and a key destination
within the Presidio National
Outgoing WDFMuseum CEO Gabriella CalicchioCopyright The Walt Disney Family MuseumAll rights reserved
"We thank Gabriella for her many contributions and for
helping to build a robust platform for the future of the Museum," said Diane
Disney Miller, the daughter of Walt Disney and president of the Walt Disney Family
Foundation. "We wish her the very best in her future endeavors."
Kirsten Komoroske has been named as interim director while
the Museum conducts a review of candidates to succeed Ms. Calicchio and take
the institution to the next level of its development. Komoroske is a lawyer by
training who specializes in advising profit and nonprofit organizations on a
wide range of employment, human resources and general business matters.
Her work experience includes serving as general
counsel and vice president of human resources at Tyco Electronics Corp. (subsequently
acquired by Raychem Corp.) and as interim vice president of human resources at
Groupon, Inc. She has served on the board of directors of the Peninsula Humane
Society & SPCA for the last six years, and currently serves as its chairman.
Copyright The Walt Disney Family Museum. All rights reserved
"We are delighted to have Kirsten guide the Museum during
this period of transition," said Miller. "She brings a wealth of experience and
expertise to the organization, as well as heartfelt enthusiasm for the Museum
and its mission. We look forward to her assistance in positioning us for the
Museum's next stage of development."
Not a big surprise here. They can point to the positives but this definitely looks like a "firing." Ms Calicchio has cast aside many contributors to the initial success of the museum and lots of early supporters of the museum are not happy with programming choices. Let's hope the board finds a good replacement.
While I will acknowledge that Ms. Calicchio has some positive impact on the operations of the Museum, I never felt she was a right fit for its leadership, having such a limited knowledge of Walt Disney and his legacy. I have other issues as well, but will suffice to say that I found rather cold and unapproachable. Something I experienced with no other staffer or volunteer. I am not disappointed that she has moved on.