Olympic Theatre Arts hires new executive director

SEQUIM — The Olympic Theatre Arts organization has hired a new executive director, filling a post that was open because of a controversial decision by the group’s board of directors.

Caroline Grace James completed her employment paperwork Sunday and is scheduled to start work July 6, said Russ Mellon, chairman of OTA’s board.

The board decided in May not to renew the contract of former executive director Cj Augustine, a move that angered at least part of the group’s membership.

How extensive that anger is could be demonstrated tonight when the membership gathers to vote on new board members.

James was not available for comment Monday, and Mellon said she wouldn’t be able to attend tonight’s meeting because of previously made plans.

Two candidates

“We were fortunate to find a candidate that has the skills we were looking for,” Mellon said.

“Fortunately, we didn’t have to go through too long of a process.”

James was one of two candidates interviewed for the job, he said.

She grew up in England and has earned degrees from Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning and Columbia University’s College of Architecture, Urban Planning and Historic Preservation.

She has worked in management positions in the public sector, in private-sector commercial and industrial construction, and for nonprofit arts organizations in the Puget Sound area, according to a short biography released by Mellon.

It says she has also been a sponsor, donor and volunteer for the past 25 years for arts, human services and wildlife causes.

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