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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces leadership realignment to support strategic plan
The board has also promoted Crystal Bridges Deputy Director for Operations and Administration Rod Bigelow to executive director.
BENTONVILLE, ARK.- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Board of Directors and board chair Alice Walton have promoted Crystal Bridges Executive Director Don Bacigalupi to the newly created position of president and appointed him to Crystal Bridges Board of Directors. The board has also promoted Crystal Bridges Deputy Director for Operations and Administration Rod Bigelow to executive director. Both promotions are immediately effective.

In his newly expanded role, Bacigalupi will serve as a member of the board of directors and will advance the Museum’s national and global special initiatives and work closely with the board and staff leadership. Bigelow will assume oversight for day-to-day operations of the Museum.

“Don was the right director at the right time,” said Alice Walton. “The success we have enjoyed during the course of the past three years has been directly attributable to his leadership—in getting the building open and creating a successful inaugural year, surpassing all expectations. As important, he has created a first-rate and highly effective leadership team, prepared to advance Crystal Bridges’ strategic plan and keep the momentum going into our second year of operation and beyond. In his new role, he is poised to take us to even greater accomplishments.

“Rod’s leadership in Museum operations and his unique experience with Crystal Bridges has earned the board’s trust,” Walton said. “His growth in our organization has readied him for a more senior position at this exciting point in the Museum’s development. The board feels these promotions are essential and perfectly timed for the organization.”

Bacigalupi, who joined Crystal Bridges’ staff in 2009, was previously president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio for six years. He was selected as Crystal Bridges’ executive director to help guide and build the Museum toward opening and beyond.

“I look forward to this additional challenge of taking the Museum to even greater heights through the implementation of our strategic plan, which is full of exciting initiatives that will further position Crystal Bridges as a catalyst in the world discussion about American art,” Bacigalupi said.

Rod Bigelow has served as the deputy director of operations and administration at Crystal Bridges since 2010, overseeing the areas of finance, facilities, grounds and trails, IT, security, human resources, culinary, and retail activities. He has focused on organizational development and preparedness through policy development, training, and creation of strategic initiatives. He formerly served as chief operating officer and interim executive director at the Toledo Museum of Art, and as chief financial officer and interim executive director at the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington as well.

“I’ve never felt more prepared to take on a new challenge as I do with this role at Crystal Bridges,” said Bigelow. “I’m grateful to the board for their vote of confidence and look forward to maintaining our amazing momentum and working even more closely with Crystal Bridges’ leadership to advance the Museum’s goals and objectives.”

Sandy Edwards remains on the executive team as deputy director, supporting and advancing all areas of the Museum. Tracy Cude will continue to serve as chief financial officer, reporting to the executive director in addition to serving as project manager for the national and global special initiatives, reporting to the president.

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