DUNWOODY, Ga. — After 16 years at the helm, Bob Kinsey is stepping down as CEO of the Spruill Center for the Arts.
Kinsey said he is incredibly proud of his team and is confident that the arts center will remain in good hands.
“I love what I do,” he said. “I love the Spruill Center and so many of the people here. It’s a joy. That makes it really, really tough to leave.”
Kinsey led the arts center before, during and since the Great Recession, and he said keeping the lights on during that challenging time for nonprofits is his proudest accomplishment.
“We were very fortunate to have very loyal students and instructors who stuck with us,” Kinsey said. “There were some painful cuts, but we came through it and are stronger than ever now.”
Kinsey was also instrumental in the ground lease and development of the organization’s property of Ashford Dunwoody Road, which unlocked the value of the 5.25 acres gifted by the Spruill family and helps assure the long-term financial stability of Spruill Arts. Additionally, Kinsey oversaw the 2016 renovations of the Spruill Homeplace which houses the Spruill Gallery and Gift Shop.
“It has been a tremendous honor working with Bob,” Board President Dianna Suggs said. “He has accomplished so much during his time at Spruill and has been a wonderful asset to the arts community.”
Kinsey will be succeeded by Alan Mothner, who comes to the CEO role after 15 years and as the Executive Director of the Dunwoody Nature Center. With his work as a professional photographer and artist, Mothner’s career spans both the art world and nonprofit management.
“I am so incredibly honored to continue in the tradition of what Bob has been able to accomplish at Spruill,” Mothner said. “I’m thrilled to be back in Dunwoody to lead the partnership with the city, to support the board in its vision for the arts center, and to bring the arts to our entire community.”
Beginning March 2, Kinsey and Mother will work together during the transition period. Kinsey will officially retire March 31 but is expected to continue to work with Spruill through consulting and volunteer efforts.
“I’ve got about a million things to fill Alan in on, and he said he has about six million questions for me,” Kinsey said. “I’m sure we’re looking at a busy but productive March.”
Beyond that, Kinsey said he is looking forward to enjoying retirement, traveling and spending more time at his North Georgia mountain cabin.
“There’s lots that I want to do in retirement,” Kinsey said. “I’m also at the age where a lot of friends have retired, and they’re like ‘What are you doing still working?’”
Kinsey, who moved across the country several times as a child, settled in Atlanta to attend Georgia Tech and has stayed ever since. For 26 years, he worked in the for-profit world, in printing, marketing and software services.
During that time, Kinsey became a collector of original art and a self-described “art addict.” In 2001, Kinsey cashed out of the corporate world and spent about three years traveling and serving on the board for Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Through his position at Callanwolde, Kinsey learned about Spruill’s search for a CEO and found his second career in the arts.
“I always believed, especially in the corporate world, that after 10 years or so a leader ought to move on and make way for fresh input and new energy,” Kinsey said. “Of course, when I got to 10 years here, the board said ‘No, no, don’t leave.”
“I made it to 16 years, and the board was still saying ‘No, don’t leave. Please stay,’” Kinsey continued. “But it just felt like it was time.”
Kinsey will be honored during the organization’s annual fundraising event, Artistic Affair, to be held on March 21 at the Atlanta Athletic Club.