American Craft Council Executive Director Resigns

American Craft Council Executive Director Resigns

Chris Amundsen is leaving the national arts nonprofit based in Minneapolis. 

Published on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.
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Chris Amundsen

Chris Amundsen, executive director of ACC

The American Craft Council announced in a press release that executive director Chris Amundsen has tendered his resignation. Amundsen’s last day will be August 4, 2017.

Leilani Lattin Duke, ACC Life Trustee and former board chair, says, “I was privileged to chair the board when Chris was hired. While he came from “outside” the craft field, his accomplishments in previous jobs, his skillset, and his personality earned him the board's confidence. Chris joined the Council immediately following the decision to relocate the Council from New York City to Minneapolis. He led the Council through a tumultuous time, hiring an outstanding staff and working closely with the board to address the relocation challenges. His steady hand and warm personality over the past seven years ensured the Council's successful transition to a more relevant, stable, and energetic organization serving craft artists and the field. He leaves a legacy of strong leadership and Council programs for his successor.” 

Since Amundsen’s hiring in 2010, he’s led the Council through a multitude of initiatives, including achieving financial stability, authoring and executing the Council’s first five-year strategic plan, rebranding the organization, revitalizing the show programs, making American Craft magazine more accessible to a broader audience, completing two website redesigns, relaunching the ACC’s national conference program, launching a new craft journal, and initiating important work for the field around diversity and inclusion. Perhaps most importantly, he led the way to increasing the Council’s relevance and value to both members and the craft community at large.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to serve as Chris’ board chair,” ACC Life Trustee and former board chair Barbara Waldman adds. “Under his leadership, existing Council programs were reimagined and stepped up, new programs were established, and his management team became stronger. It was an exciting time for the Council. During his tenure, Chris gained personal respect in the craft field, and there was renewed regard and recognition for ACC. The organization is in a good position for a new leader.”

Stuart Kestenbaum, current chair of ACC’s board of trustees, says Amundsen “not only guided the organization through its move from New York City to Minneapolis, he oversaw the expansion of programs such as our conference and new journal, and engaged new audiences and supporters. Working closely with board and staff, he has built a great organization.”

With a strong foundation for long-term growth and continued relevancy in place, Amundsen feels that the Council is in an excellent position to recruit a new leader to guide the organization. Kestenbaum says the board of trustees will appoint a committee to begin the search for a new executive director.