New Executive Director for AIANH Begins Oct. 1

Bonnie Kastel

Bonnie Kastel has been selected
as the new Executive Director
for AIA New Hampshire,
to begin October 1.

As some of you may know, the AIA New Hampshire Board of Directors has been busy since late winter with the work of finding a new Executive Director to take on the role in October when Carolyn Isaak retires from the position. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated committee of the Board, we were all able to interview four well-qualified persons from a field of eighteen candidates. Special thanks go out to Shannon Alther AIA, our past, past president who volunteered to follow through as committee chairman and brought us together for the final candidate interviews. Other Board members on this committee were Alyssa Murphy AIA, Susan Philips-Hungerford AIA, and Paul Bourbeau AIA. They also deserve a note of thanks for above and beyond service.

I’m happy to report that the Board’s offer to our selected candidate was accepted, and that Bonnie Kastel will become our new Executive Director. With Carolyn’s help during a three-month transition period, we feel Bonnie will be up to the task. As we went through this search process, we realized more than ever the multifaceted nature of this position. Yes, Carolyn has been wearing many hats all these years, and we are extremely grateful that she will be helping Bonnie get up to speed quickly.

Bonnie, who resides in Portsmouth, brings some excellent experience to AIANH with a background in project management and marketing management for corporate clients, much of this as an independent consultant. She also spent some time as a development director with the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston some years ago. (Her degree is in Art History; coincidentally Carolyn also has a degree in Art History, so something good there.) One of the characteristic traits she projects is enthusiasm, and the Board noted her background as a self-starter and good communicator as important qualities that will make this a good fit.

With this part of the Executive Director transition completed, and this year’s monthly events all planned out (yes, we have had some great events this year and there are more to come), we are now able to turn our focus to other tasks that need our attention. One of these is identifying candidates for new Board members, since we have three positions completing their terms this year, and one member relocating to Virginia. We will all miss Dennis McNeal AIA, who has been doing an excellent job as the Board’s secretary/treasurer, but wish him the best of luck in his new position in Virginia.

Our nominating committee has been working to identify candidates, and this is currently ongoing. Those of you who know AIANH members who you think would be good AIANH Board member candidates, please get in touch with me through Carolyn at And if you yourself are interested in serving now or in the future, let me or another Board member know. We look forward to completing this search by mid-August so nominees can attend our annual Board Retreat Oct. 6-7 as an orientation. Board members are actually voted in at our Annual Meeting, which is part of the Awards Gala January 20, and participation on the Board would begin January 21, 2017.

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