Sandra Laby, Cheryl Heitmann, Jordan Laby and Elena smiling for the camera at a Ventura 150th anniversary celebration held in April.
The Board of Directors of the Museum of Ventura County is pleased to announce that Elena Brokaw will serve as Consultant to the Museum and Interim Executive Director over the next six months. This will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the Museum’s CEO Pattie Mullins, who has accepted a position as CEO with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Tri-Counties.
Ms. Brokaw will lead the organization, overseeing the operation of its two locations—in historic downtown Ventura and the Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula—and conducting a strategic planning process with the board and staff. Ms. Brokaw has enjoyed a successful and accomplished career in the public sector, most recently serving as Director of Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships for the City of Ventura from 2004 through 2016. Remarkably, her first job in the arts was a summer internship between her junior and senior years at Harvard University in the Museum’s research library.
Board Chair John Orr stated, “We are so fortunate that Elena is available to step in at this time. Her extensive background in the arts and with public cultural organizations is just what we need to strengthen our commitment to our 103-year-old mission, while serving present and future audiences.”
According to Ms. Brokaw, “I am very thankful and excited to get to work with the Museum of Ventura County. The Museum is the touchstone for our community; the repository of our history, our memories, and our culture. I look forward to working with the stellar board and staff to set the museum up for another century of success.”
Ms. Brokaw is an independent consultant, specializing in strategic planning and fundraising for government agencies, non-profits, and for-profit businesses.
Ms. Brokaw earned her bachelor’s degree in art history at Harvard University. She has worked extensively as a cultural consultant for communities as well as organizations. As a lead consultant for the firm Jerry Allen and Associates, she completed cultural plans for the cities of Reno, Nevada; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Capitola, California.
In these broad-based community cultural planning efforts, Ms. Brokaw facilitated campaigns that brought representatives of disparate and diverse community groups together, and led arts advocacy campaigns on a local level. Working with large groups, she succeeded in bringing seemingly competing interests to consensus, resulting in successful and actionable cultural planning efforts.