Cris Fulford has officially resigned as executive director of Historic Newburgh Inc., less than three months after first taking the position.
Fulford is the third HNI director in just two years, following Helen Zimmerman and Carol Schaefer. Schaefer retired, while Zimmerman took a job with the Children's Museum of Evansville earlier this summer.
Fulford is currently in Italy and could not be reached for a comment as to why she resigned.
But HNI board president Stacie Krieger said Fulford left on good terms and is still keeping her positions on the Warrick County Tourism Board and the Newburgh Museum Board.
"We hated to hear it," Krieger said. "She's a good friend of mine."
Krieger, who is acting as the interim executive director until Fulford is replaced, said the position requires a huge role within the organization. "They're basically the face of HNI," she said. "They run the day-to-day office; they manage the volunteers; they are in charge of membership."
Because Newburgh is one of the special towns recognized as a National Main Street Organization, HNI is required to have a paid director, Krieger said.
"It's unusual for a town of our size to be a Main Street Organization," she said. "We are lucky that we have been able to afford a director, but our problem is that we are a not-for-profit in a small town, and we fund a lot of things, so the budget for our salary is not as large as in Indianapolis, so that is always a challenge for us."
Krieger said the position is a heavy one and it is full-time. The executive director has to wear a lot of hats.
"It's a pretty demanding job, so we've been fortunate that we've
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had three good ones with different talents. So it will be a challenge to find another," she said. "They work along with event coordinator Amber Kelly to work with sponsors. They meet with downtown business owners, and there are a lot of weekend hours, a lot of night hours."
Krieger said the HNI director should have a likable and bubbly personality.
"They have to be able to interact with people, have to be able to listen," she said. "They do a lot of meetings with the downtown merchants and also with the sponsors."
Krieger said they'll also have to be able to multitask and have good technical skills.
"They're often doing three things at once," she said. "And we need someone who is very computer savvy because a lot of the payments we do are online, like for Ghost Walks and Wine Fest."
Krieger said grant writing is a big asset they look for in a HNI executive director.
"We've been very lucky to have three directors who have been very knowledgeable on grant writing," she said, "Grants are a large financial source for us."
But Krieger said potential applicants should not be discouraged if they lack grant writing experience.
"We will probably look for someone who has all the other qualities we need and try to find them a mentor to teach them on how to write grants," she said. "Not having grant writing experience would not exclude you because many of us who are with the organization in the past would get that taken care of."
Although Fulford was not the executive director for long, Krieger said she made a big impact on the organization, including helping them move from their old location to their new one on State Street.
"We had the move this summer, which was extremely time consuming and detailed oriented," Krieger said, "And Cris did an excellent job with that -- she pulled us through some tough times."
Anyone who is interested in the director position of Historic Newburgh Inc. can a mail resume to 333 State Street in Newburgh.