Center hires new executive director

center culhane wrestling team
A young Chris Culhane was part of the Center’s wrestling team. - Submitted | Center

ANNA MARIA – At the end of a two-month search for a new executive director, The Center of Anna Maria Island’s board of directors is choosing from their own ranks.

In a May 4 press release, Center board members announced the promotion of Chris Culhane to executive director.

To fill the executive director void, more than 170 applicants were screened and interviewed by human resources consultant Margaret Beck before finalists were interviewed by the Center’s hiring committee. Committee members included board members Karen Harllee, David Zaccagnino and John Munn, County Commissioner Steve Jonsson and local business owner Barbara Sato. Culhane will take over Center leadership from interim executive director Carl Weeks.

“After an extensive search and many months of committee work Chris Culhane came out as our top choice,” Zaccagnino said in the press release. “He has proven himself over the years and has earned the opportunity of executive director. During the past couple months Chris has been working closely with interim Executive Director Carl Weeks, the finance committee, the board of directors, and several grant and fundraising committees. He is a natural and has stepped into the leadership position with purpose. We are pleased to have Chris as our new executive director.”

Culhane began his career at the Center as a coach and volunteer before taking an administrative position three years ago. Prior to working at the Center, he attended the Center and participated in sports as a child and teenager. Now his three children attend the Center.

center culhane children
New Center Executive Director Chris Culhane takes to the field with his family. – Submitted | Center

“It is with great pleasure that I have accepted the offer which has been bestowed upon me by The Center’s board of directors and the hiring committee to become The Center of Anna Maria Island’s next executive director. I am humbled and ultimately grateful for the opportunity and I would like to thank the board, the committee, local business owners that participated in the search, the dedicated staff, and the AMI community as a whole,” Culhane said in the press release. “I love this community and I love the Center. With the goals set high we will be working with our integral community leaders, the board, and the center team to review the strategic plan in order to build a sustainable model that drives the Center to success and truly leaves a legacy…a legacy that will hopefully inspire executive directors all the way down the line.

The Center is at 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.