The Southwest Seattle Historical Society will soon be seeking a new executive director after the recent announcement that Clay Eals will be stepping down after four-plus years of leadership.
In a letter to the organization’s board, Eals wrote that his decision to step down stems from “a desire to spend more time focusing on other aspects of my life.” His departure will be effective in mid-July. The board plans to begin advertising for the executive-director position later this month and hopes to fill the position in time for the successor to overlap with Eals, who has been involved with the historical society since its founding in 1984.
Eals became the historical society’s first executive director in January 2013. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity, adding that he is confident that the organization’s mission, track record and board leadership will result in continued organizational success.
The author, historian and ex-journalist wrote in his resignation letter that the timing of the transition would be “as good as it gets” for the organization.
“We just finished a huge phase of our Junction landmark campaign, and between now and mid-July several manageable events (including the Sea View Hall home tour) can be pulled off while attention is devoted to a hiring process,” he wrote. “Most important is that there is enough time to get a new executive director on board to become immersed in the planning and execution of our 2017 Champagne Gala Brunch.”
During Eals’ time at the SWSHS helm, the group has attained landmark status for iconic buildings, assembled Group Hug photo events featuring school children and others at key sites, championed programs and collections of the organization’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum, deepened relations with the Duwamish Tribe, created and sustained two monthly speaker series, revived the historical society’s annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tours, broadened the organization’s visibility and deepened its financial viability.
Primary responsibilities of the position are fundraising, outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff supervision and overall management. In addition to the full-time position of executive director, the historical society has two paid part-time staff positions of curator and museum operations coordinator.
For more information on the search for a new executive director, please contact SWSHS board president Karen Sisson at 206-579-0126.