Blair Collis To Leave Bishop Museum, Appoints Lindalee Farm As Interim CEO, To Begin Search Process
News Release from Bishop Museum April 29, 2016
The Bishop Museum Board of Directors today announced that Blair Collis has resigned as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the museum. The Board has appointed LindaLee Kuuleilani (“Cissy”) Farm as interim president and CEO and will launch a search to fill the position.
Collis’ last day with the museum will be May 6, 2016. Collis has held the position as president and CEO since June 2011. He first joined the museum as director of Bishop Museum Press in 2003 and served in several capacities, including being senior vice president and chief operating officer prior to being appointed president and CEO.
“It has been an honor to have served Bishop Museum over the last 13 years and particularly as president and CEO over the last five years. I am leaving to pursue new opportunities knowing the museum is in strong and capable hands. I wish the very best to the board of directors and staff of this amazing institution,” said Collis.
“The Board of Directors of the Bishop Museum want to thank Blair for his many years of service to the museum. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Allison Holt Gendreau, Chair of the Museum Board of Directors.
Farm is a partner at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, a Limited Liability Law Partnership where she concentrates her practice in the area of commercial litigation. She serves as a member of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation (NAGPRA) Review Committee, a federal committee which monitors and reviews repatriation activities pursuant to NAGPRA, and is also on the Historic Hawaii Foundation Board. Farm received her J.D. from the University of Hawai‘i Richardson School of Law, her B.A. from Scripps College and is a graduate of Punahou School.
“The Board is pleased that Cissy Farm has agreed to take on the interim role and we are confident that she will be able to effectively guide the museum during this transitional period,” said Gendreau.
The board will launch a nationwide search for a president and CEO.
President Latest to be Caught ‘Borrowing’ from Museum Funds
CB: …Collis had been under pressure in recent weeks for using museum funds for personal use.
The Attorney General’s office, in a routine review of the museum’s tax records, discovered that Collis had taken an interest-free personal loan from the museum’s funds.
The museum’s 990 form, filed with the Internal Revenue Service in 2014, showed that Collis borrowed $14, 377 from the museum’s treasury. Tax records show the loan was not authorized by anyone on the museum’s board . The form showed that Collis had repaid about $1,500 of the money.
Under Hawaii state law, nonprofits are prohibited from making loans to directors or officers. Joshua Wisch, spokesman for the Attorney General, said the thrust of the law is that the assets of a charity should not be put at risk on loans to insiders.
The 990 form on which the loan showed up is a report nonprofits file annually with the IRS. The purpose is to give the IRS an overview of a nonprofit’s governance, finances and activities in order for the government to determine whether the nonprofit should continue to get tax exempt status.
This is not the first time the Bishop Museum has been investigated for loaning money to an executive.
In 2004, the Attorney General’s office discovered in tax records that the museum had given a $300,000 loan at 7.333 percent interest to its then-director Donald Duckworth to buy a house. Duckworth received the loan between 1998 and 2001….
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