After several months of interim leadership following the previous leader’s resignation, the McLean Community Center (MCC) Governing Board on Dec. 14 appointed Betsy May-Salazar to serve as the community center’s new executive director.
“Her extensive experience managing operations, strategic planning and development of compelling programs for the public, along with her long-standing ties to McLean, position her well,” Governing Board Chairman Barbara Zamora-Appel said in a media statement accompanying the announcement.
“I look forward to working with Betsy to expand our reach, cultivate partnerships and make the McLean Community Center the best it can be for our community,” Zamora-Appel said.
May-Salazar on Jan. 3 will take over from acting executive director Evan Braff, who has held the job since the July 26 resignation of Daniel Singh.
Officials did not provide an explanation when Singh left after just 16 months on the job. The Metro Arts Commission in Nashville in August hired Singh as its executive director.
May-Salazar most recently has served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., where she has worked in various capacities since 1995.
May-Salazar was directly responsible for all of the museum’s operations and financial oversight, managed an annual budget of more than $8 million and served as chief of staff, MCC officials said. She played a key role in all aspects of the museum’s leadership, including strategic planning, budget development and management, board relations, program management, human resources and staff oversight, they said.
May-Salazar also has helped shape the museum’s programmatic direction, ensured its fiscal stability and developing strategies for increased visibility, attendance and financial growth, MCC officials said. She directly supervised the museum’s finances, human resources, administration, museum shop, great-hall rental and information-technology services and collaborated with the programming, marketing and fund-raising teams.
Before working at the museum, May-Salazar was program director of the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, where she was responsible for publications, exhibitions, annual design awards, a lecture series and planning community-outreach and educational programs.
May-Salazar and her family are longtime McLean residents.
The McLean Community Center is funded by McLean residents via a real-estate-tax surcharge. The center offers activities for adults, teens and children, including classes, lectures, study tours, camps, art exhibits, theater performances and specialty shows.
The center also sponsors community activities and events. Its facilities include the 383-seat Alden Theatre, McLean Project for the Arts galleries, studios, meeting and conference space, classrooms and a commercial kitchen.
MCC also operates the Old Firehouse Center, which was the first-of-its-kind space for teens in Fairfax County and now serves patrons from a broader age range.