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Newfields’ president and CEO resigns after just over a year on the job

Newfields president stepping down

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Newfields art and nature museum on Friday announced its president and chief executive officer will be leaving after taking on the job a little over a year ago.

Colette Pierce Burnette resigned. She took the job in Aug. 1, 2022. The first Black woman to chair the Newfields board of trustees came after the February 2021 resignation of Charles Venable.

Venable resigned after a controversial job listing that explained one of the job duties as “maintaining the Museum’s traditional, core, white art audience.”

Pierce Burnette had been scheduled to speak Friday night at the opening of the Daughter / Mother / Ancestor: Threads of Connection exhibit in the art gallery, and people at the event told News 8 she did not attend. No explanation was given for Pierce Burnette’s sudden departure. A news release from Newfields wished her well “in her future endeavors.”

Pierce Burnette is the former president of Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas.

Michael Kubacki will take the job on an interim basis. He was on the board of trustees from 2014 through May of this year.

Kubacki is chairman of Warsaw, Indiana-based Lake City Bank and its holding company, Lakeland Financial Corp.

The release did not say what the board’s next step would be to find a new president and CEO.