It was just last month that our Executive Director of 13 years, Catherine Rickbone, announced her retirement. While the search for her permanent replacement has not yet officially commenced, the OCCA is excited to announce that David Carnevale will helm the organization as Interim Executive Director until that time comes.

“I just can’t imagine anyone more uniquely and highly qualified for this position,” said OCCA Board President Akia Woods, “He’s incredibly talented, capable, experienced, and we’re elated and grateful to have his guidance at this time.”

With a Master’s in Non-Profit Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, Carnevale’s education is certainly on point, but it is far more than his degrees that make him an ideal choice for the role. Carnevale not only previously founded and ran a performing arts company, he also has experience in creating and coordinating art gallery space, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board for a healthcare nonprofit. 

“It’s as if he’s been working toward checking off all the boxes for us,” added OCCA Board Member Darcy Hogan, “Education, check! Performing arts experience, check! Visual arts experience, check! Non-profit experience, check! It really is difficult to imagine someone more singularly qualified to take on this role.”

Asked how he’s feeling, Carnevale replied “I am excited about becoming part of the OCCA team, and am looking forward to exploring the amazing art community along the Oregon Coast.”

While the OCCA Board of Directors have stepped in to take on certain key tasks during the ‘downtime’ and low-staff period created by COVID-19, having a well-equipped Interim Executive Director will be critical in the days, weeks, and months to come. “As coastal counties begin moving up the phased reopening ladder, and as we begin to take our initiatives off ‘pause’, it’s important that we have someone dedicated and qualified to lead the way,” said Hogan, “I’ve known David for nearly two decades and have had the privilege of working with him many times over the years. I have the utmost faith in him. He’s a wonderful leader, and I’m thrilled that he was willing to join us, albeit temporarily.”

When asked why Carnevale’s title bears the word “interim”, Woods replied, “The search for a permanent Executive Director isn’t something we want to rush. By hiring an Interim Director we can get important bases covered right away, while simultaneously buying us ample time to give our search for a permanent E.D. the careful thought and consideration it requires.”

Having an Interim Director comes with additional benefits. “David isn’t vying for the permanent position,” expressed Woods, “which means he’ll be able to approach decisions in a very pure and straightforward fashion, and provide us with an unvarnished, unbiased view of the organization. He’s coming in with fresh eyes, a fresh approach, and no agenda. That’s worth its weight in gold.