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Colonial Williamsburg hires 2 senior vice presidents


Colonial Williamsburg announced Tuesday it has hired two senior vice presidents who will report directly to CEO Mitchell Reiss.

Ghislain d’Humières and Paul Scott will fill the roles Reiss created in October as a way of restructuring his leadership team.

d’Humières will serve as the executive director and senior vice president of core operations, overseeing the Historic Area, research, educational outreach, collections, conservation, the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, development and strategic communications. Scott is now the senior vice president of hospitality, overseeing the for-profit hotels, colonial houses, historic lodging, restaurants, Spa of Colonial Williamsburg and the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club.

Scott began work last week while d’Humières will begin in mid-January. Colonial Williamsburg did not release salaries for either position, and a spokesman responded saying their compensation is consistent with that of executives at similar institutions and is reported publicly each year in the foundation’s federal tax filings.

During an Oct. 10 all-employees meeting, Reiss announced he planned to hire two new senior vice presidents to oversee operations — one overseeing the nonprofit side, the other for for-profit operations. The moves were a follow-up to restructuring announced in June that laid off 71 people by the end of the year and outsourced golf operations, 19 retail stores, some maintenance and facilities operations and commercial real estate management.

“Colonial Williamsburg’s recent restructuring was a difficult but critical step that has strengthened the foundation and put it on a financially sustainable path,” said Henry C. Wolf, chairman of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation board of trustees, in a news release. “The addition of great talents like Ghislain and Paul to a restructured leadership team will help Colonial Williamsburg realize its full potential as a cultural treasure and as an economic engine for the city and region.”

A Colonial Williamsburg spokesman declined to provide further details about other leadership changes made at the organization this year.

Restructuring operations announced in June were expected to shave $5 million from the amount Colonial Williamsburg draws from its endowment. The organization used $70.9 million from its endowment to offset expenses during its 2016 fiscal year, according to an audit obtained by The Gazette.

“To succeed, we must have the best people serving in the ideal positions: not more senior staff, but the right senior staff,” said Reiss in the release. “Ghislain’s and Paul’s contributions in their new roles are essential. They will oversee critical day-to-day operations, enabling me to foster critical relationships with the community, supporters and other partners to elevate Colonial Williamsburg and its mission to share America’s enduring story.”

d’Humières has previously worked as the director and chief curator of the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. He is a former member of the French armed forces, served as aide-de-camp to the grand chancelier of the Ordre de La Libération and an assistant curator of Paris’ Ordre de La Libération Museum.

Scott has spent 35 years working his way up through the hospitality industry, first in a front-line, entry-level management role. He also served in various executive positions with the Westin and Wyndham, as well as with Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

“Colonial Williamsburg is a treasure that preserves the birthplace of American democracy and enshrines ideals that still guide the nation and world,” said d’Humières in the release.

Who they are

Ghislain d’Humières

Title: Executive director and senior vice president, core operations.

Function: Oversees the Historic Area, research, educational outreach, collections, conservation, the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, development and strategic communications.

Most recent job: Director and CEO of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Ky.

Experience: Veteran of the international antiques, auction and museums sector

Paul Scott

Title: Senior vice president of hospitality

Function: Oversees Colonial Williamsburg’s hotels, colonial houses and historic lodging, restaurants including Historic Area taverns, the Spa of Colonial Williamsburg and the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club.

Most recent job: General manager, Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

Experience: Worked for more than three decades in various hospitality management and national executive positions.

Source: Colonial Williamsburg

Brauchle can be reached by phone at 757-846-4361.

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