Hugo House is a Seattle-based organization that aims to provide a place for writers of all ages to come together to celebrate the written word. This year they celebrated their 25th anniversary as an organization and made an announcement that their current Interim Executive Director, poet Rob Arnold, would be leaving to lead Poets House, a Manhattan-based nonprofit poetry organization and independent library.
His departure left the role of Interim Executive Director open as they continue to search for the right person to fill the role permanently. Meriça Whitehall, who had most recently been serving as the Interim Chief Operating Officer, was then named to fill the role.
In speaking of change in leadership, Rob said, “I’ve worked very closely with Meriça these past few months while she served as our Interim Chief Operating Officer, and I can say with confidence that Hugo House couldn’t be better off. She’s truly marvelous.” He went on to say,
It has been an honor to serve our community by leading Hugo House through its public reckoning with racial equity and helping to implement lasting change in our beloved organization. I know Hugo House will have a bright future with fresh leadership.
We look forward to seeing the great things that will come from Huge House in the future as well!
About Meriça Whitehall
Meriça is a strong nonprofit leader who brings over 25 years of experience in empowering teams, infrastructure planning, strengthening organizations, improving financial performance, and strategic planning.
She has worked with numerous arts and culture organizations including ArtsWA, STG’s Paramount Theater, and the Seattle Center Festal Cultural Festival. Most recently she served as the Executive Director of Fontenelle Forest and prior to that as the Executive Director of the Nature Consortium in west Seattle. Her extensive tenure also spans work with SouthEast Effective Development, the Seattle Community Law Center, and the Seattle Police Department. She has a strong passion for advancing DEIJ initiatives as well as teaching and mentoring today’s youth.
Connect with Meriça Whitehal
About Hugo House
Hugo House uses their wide range of programs to bring people closer to the written word and to each other. They offer writing classes taught by talented professional writers, youth classes and camps, events featuring well-known authors, and free resources to the community.
Drawing from the inspiration of widely acclaimed author, Richard Hugo, Hugo House aims to inspire existing authors and cultivate new authors regardless of their background or circumstances. They aim to not only protect the art of writing, but also support the artist and writer communities to foster them in today’s culture.
With a strong focus on diversity, racial equity, and inclusion for all writers and readers, Hugo House is on a mission to engage new groups of people and encourage them to connect with the written word. They have taken extensive structural and programmatic changes to further this mission with transparency and sincerity. Their goal is to create a transformative space that unites people now and into the future.
About Valtas Group
Valtas Group works as Interim Executive Directors, supporting organizations in times of transition and helps organizations navigate uncertainty during leadership change. We lead the search process in partnership with the board and staff leadership, as consultants for recruiting and search to support organizations identify the ideal Executive Director or leader.
Furthermore, Valtas Group partners with board members and senior nonprofit leaders on a variety of strategic consulting assignments. We offer comprehensive resources to guide your transition needs. Contact us to learn about our executive interim and placement services.
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