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Shunpike Executive Director Andy Fife Announces Resignation

Posted on: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Shunpike Executive Director Andy Fife announced his resignation today in order to build an independent consulting practice. He will remain at Shunpike through February 2013 to support the organization through this transition.

“While it is sad to leave the helm of the organization,” Fife said, “I am proud that Shunpike is a sustainable, adaptable and impactful institution that will continue to innovate and serve our region for years to come. I leave the organization in the very capable hands of the Board and staff, and have no doubt it will continue to thrive through this transition. I am also excited to begin the next stage of my professional career, where I will build a consulting practice to serve organizations in our region and throughout the country. I am committed and interested particularly to expand my work at the intersection of social impact, innovation, creative industries and the arts.”

Fife joined Shunpike as Executive Director by becoming its first full-time staff member in September 2007, more than five years ago. During his tenure, Fife solidified and streamlined Shunpike’s core program of fiscal sponsorship and back-office services – and modeled a program that is unique nationally. He guided sustainable growth through smart use of technology, allowing Shunpike to increase its membership base by more than 500% in that time. Through this program, Shunpike now manages more than $1 million for nearly 200 arts projects across the state. Fife has also led the ongoing development of Shunpike’s Arts Business Clinic program, which now provides easily accessible strategic resources to arts groups across the region, and is expanding in 2013, thanks to major support from The Boeing Company and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Additionally, Fife built new programs and partnerships with local government agencies, foundations, neighborhoods, and corporations, including the creation of a slate of programs for Tacoma arts groups that have directly led to increased collaboration and information-sharing. In the last couple of years, Fife led Shunpike in one of its most visible collaborations, the Storefronts program, in which Shunpike matches arts projects and creative entrepreneurs with vacant retail space – and serves as an essential connector between arts, business, government and neighborhood stakeholders.

“Shunpike has been incredibly fortunate to benefit from Andy’s leadership,” says Shunpike Board President Molly M. McCarthy. “He expanded the reach of longstanding programs to serve new and broader audiences, and seized new opportunities that boldly met the challenge of our mission to fuel innovation in the arts. With Andy at the helm, Shunpike has grown into a key advocate for the arts in our community. I speak for the board – and for the hundreds of arts groups he’s partnered with while at Shunpike – when I thank him for his service and wish him success in his next venture.”

Fife leaves Shunpike in a very strong financial position with solid community support. Initial projections for 2012 show a budget surplus for the organization, which sustains a budget of approximately $1.5 million annually.

Beginning March 1st, Shunpike co-founder and longtime Deputy Director Michelle Chiachiere will serve as Interim Executive Director while the board conducts a search for Shunpike’s next Executive Director.