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Changes ahead for leadership and management at newportFILM


newportFILM announced on Tuesday, August 22nd that longtime Executive Director Terri Conners will transition into a role on the Board of Directors this fall, current Managing Director Rebecca Bertrand will be named Executive Director.

Conners was hired by newportFILM Founders Andrea van Beuren and Nancy Donahoe in 2010 as the organization’s first Executive Director. Over the past eight seasons, she has worked with her team to build newportFILM into a year-round documentary series for award winning films, with the annual outdoor screening series pulling in 800 – 1,500 viewers per week. This year they broke records when more than 2,000 attendees viewed Rory Kennedy’s “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton” on Easton’s Beach behind Newport Beach House.

“Working with Andrea to build this vibrant, unique program over the past 7-plus years has been the most gratifying experience of my career,” says Conners in the news release. “It has been an honor to be trusted by newportFILM’s Board of Directors, and so many wonderful Newport partner organizations to create a truly collaborative community offering. Our hope of building something that would add vibrancy to this special island has exceeded my expectations, and I have complete confidence that Becca and the passionate newportFILM team will take the organization to even greater places in this next phase.”

Bertrand has been Managing Director of newportFILM since spring of 2015 and joined the team with more than seven years of non-profit administration and fundraising experience, including acting as interim Deputy Director of the Newport Art Museum.

“Becca brings tremendous experience and energy to the on-the-ground team at newportFILM,” says Kimberly Palmer, Board President in the release. “The time is right for her to move into this position, as our organization approaches a full decade of bringing excellent programming to the community. Becca brings the know-how and the vision to propel newportFILM into our exciting future ahead.”

“Terri’s contributions have been invaluable in shaping what newportFILM is today and we are thrilled she will be joining our Board. Her transition will be timed to be as supportive as possible of the newportFILM Board and staff,” says Andrea van Beuren, Co-Founder and Artistic Director in the release. “She couldn’t be leaving the organization in a stronger position.”

It is unknown who will replace Bertrand as Managing Director.

Also changing for the local nonprofit is the position of Marketing Manager. Ater six years, Meredith Nordhem Ewenson has told What’sUpNewp that she will be departing her role as Marketing Manager for the local nonprofit on September 1st. “It’s been an awesome six years (can’t believe it!) & will certainly be a bittersweet goodbye,” Ewenson said in an e-mail to What’sUpNewp.

For those looking to join the newportFILM team, Ewenson’s position of Marketing Manager is currently posted on Indeed.

newportFILM has a history of bringing the most talked-about, award-winning films and filmmakers to the Rhode Island community. Over the years, films have included Liz Garbus’s “What Happened, Miss Simone?” Albert Maysles’s “Iris,” Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s “Best of Enemies,” Lauren Greenfield’s “The Queen of Versailles,” Jeff Orlowski’s “Chasing Coral,” and Rory Kennedy’s “Ethel” and “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton.”

newportFILM documentaries are screened at picturesque locations, and often thematically paired with their films. “Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper: Nothing Left Unsaid,” about the life of the fashion doyenne and her son, was shown in the Ballroom of the Vanderbilt’s family summer cottage, the iconic Breakers mansion. The screening events are unique and experiential, and recently included a screening of the documentary “Bill Cunningham New York” about the legendary street-fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. newportFILM paid tribute to Bill in the form of a blue-themed picnic contest to pay homage to Cunningham’s signature blue French workman’s jacket.

Each film is attended by hundreds of local residents as well as Newport’s summer visitors, and guests from around the world. The majority of the year-round program is free to the public.

For more information about newportFILM, visit www.newportFILM.com.

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