Centrum names board member as interim chief

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — A member of Centrum Foundation's board of directors has been chosen to serve as the organization's interim executive director until a replacement for John MacElwee, who resigned in November, is hired.

Jim Costello, who was involved in the production of the Monterey (Calif.) Jazz Festival for many years and has served on the Centrum board for about a year, has declined any compensation for the term of his service, which he estimated will be about three months.

Costello has owned a house in Port Townsend for eight years. He has lived here full time for three years.

Costello served on the Pacific Grove (Calif.) City Council and was that city's mayor until his retirement in 2006.

He was a director of the Monterey County Fair and a member of various countywide committees, including the Fort Ord Reuse Authority.

Costello, 69, will offer input about a new director but is not serving on the search committee, which is headed by board President Cynthia McBride.

“Jim Costello is uniquely qualified to take on the role of interim director, and he will be able to hit the ground running,” McBride said in a statement.

“Given his depth of experience in arts and community leadership, plus his demonstrated devotion to Centrum, we are very fortunate to have him here to help ensure a smooth transition until a new executive director is hired.”

Even if a new executive director isn't named until the spring, the planning for summer events will be in progress.

“Our program directors have everything mapped out,” Costello said.

“My job will be to provide some suggestions and overall guidance.”

Artistic directors

Artistic directors Suzy Thompson (Fiddle Tunes), John Clayton (Jazz Festival) and Daryl Davis (Acoustic Blues) are expected to return.

While “big name” artists won't be festival guests, Centrum continues to attract first-level talent.

“One of my goals is to get national recognition for Fiddle Tunes and our Jazz Festival,” Costello said.

“They are essential in the preservation of American traditional music, which needs to be taught.”

Information about the search criteria for the new director is scheduled for posting on www.centrum.org.


Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 04. 2012 5:50PM
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