Waukesha County Museum still without a chief executive officer

Published on: 4/7/2014

The search for the Waukesha County Museum's next chief executive officer goes on.

The goal of Tom Constable, the museum board chairman, had been to have a new CEO in place by the end of March, but he said last week he's "not any closer" to finding the museum's new leader.

"I've talked to some candidates, but we are not in a position to hire somebody or extend an offer," Constable said last week.

Interim to permanent

Constable hired Dan Finley, the former Waukesha County executive, to serve as interim CEO while the museum was in transition after former CEO Kirsten Lee Villegas resigned in September 2013. Since Finley left at the end of February, Constable has been handling the day-to-day operations of the museum until a candidate is hired.

Constable said he's specifically looking for someone who can be a successful fundraiser and help get the museum out of its financial difficulties.

He said he's been recruiting through networking and not public advertising.

Constable said he couldn't disclose how many people he has interviewed.

"I don't engage in those conversations when dealing with the employment process," Constable said. "We're a private organization, not a public."

Importance of audit

Constable had wanted to wait until after an audit, which reviewed the museum's operations, was released to begin searching for a new CEO so that person knew what awaited them.

The recently released audit showed that the museum's board of directors didn't have effective oversight of the organization's financial reporting and internal control last year.

The audit, done by the Waukesha-based Walkowicz, Boczkiewicz & Co. SC, also indicated that the museum had a decrease in net assets of about $273,000 during the fiscal year of July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.

The Waukesha County Board cut the museum's funding in half from $300,000 in 2013 to $150,000 this year. Since then, the museum has significantly cut its expenses by only staffing two full time and two-part time employees since late fall.

Constable said he wouldn't put a deadline on when he wants to have a new CEO.

"When we find the right person and the timing is right we'll do it," Constable said. "But we're just not in that place yet."