Sam Gappmayer has announced that he will exit his post as president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center on Nov. 22. Due to contractual obligations with his new employer, Gappmayer cannot say where he's going until Friday, when the FAC will issue a formal announcement.
Dr. Jim Raughton, chairman of the FAC's board of trustees (which counts Independent CEO Fran Zankowski as a member), says the announcement was sudden, but that he understands this was a unique opportunity for Gappmayer, who started in October 2008. Raughton says the board will likely hire a consultant to aid in the process of finding a new CEO, and appoint an interim leader.
Over the past five years, Gappmayer has helped re-accredit the institution with the American Alliance of Museums, moved the permanent collection to its new catalogued, climate-controlled basement storage center — one of his proudest accomplishments — and created partnerships with local entities like AspenPointe, Fort Carson and Colorado College.
"The FAC is an amazing organization," Gappmayer tells the Indy, "and it's been around for almost 100 years now, and [it's] going to go forward and do great things."
The 57-year-old Gappmayer also helped transition the FAC through the troubling times of the recession, while working to pay off the bills from its significant 2007 expansion.
"Sam was the perfect guy to come in and stabilize the organization and get it headed in the right direction," Raughton says, "and now we're ready to really start growing."