Committee endorses Gary Wasdin for LA&M executive director

Gary Wasdin

CHICAGO — The selection committee for the Leather Archives & Museum has recommended Gary Wasdin for the vacant executive director position.

The LA&M made the announcement in an early Saturday morning post both on social media and in an email press release.

The full LA&M board will consider final approval at its December 10 virtual meeting.

“I am very excited to see a leader with Gary’s depth and breadth of experience coming to take the helm of the LA&M,” said Bob Behr, LA&M board president and member of the search committee, in the press release.   “His reference checks indicate that he is a leader that seeks to unite and build the communities and organizations he has served in the past,” Behr continued.

“Mr. Wasdin is both innovative and inspiring,” said Randall “Bear Man” Kleet, search committee chairperson and LA&M treasurer. “I firmly believe he has what it takes to lift the LA&M to new heights.”

Wasdin, according to the statements, currently works as a library consultant on strategic planning and organizational development. In the past, he’s worked for the King County Library System in Seattle, the Omaha Public Library, New York Public Library and the University of Alabama.

Wasdin was one of three finalists for the position. The other candidates were current LA&M Director of Operations Jeff Storer and volunteer and curator Alissa Swindell. All three had done public interviews at the LA&M last week.

“I’m honored to join the talented and dedicated staff and volunteers of the Leather Archives & Museum,” Wasdin said in the statement.  “I look forward to a busy and productive 2018 and the opportunity to meet our members and supporters, either here at LA&M or on the road at one of the many upcoming community events around the country.”

If the full board confirms the choice, he is expected to start in early January.