Since Vicky Hardy announced her plans to retire and join her family in Seattle, the Star Island Board has given much thought as to how to approach the search for a new CEO. During our deliberations we recognized that an internal candidate was very interested in the position. After discussion, the Board decided to interview the internal candidate this week before consideration of any external search process.
I am very pleased to announce that our Board has selected Joe Watts to serve as the next CEO of the Star Island Corporation.
In our conversations with him, the Board was impressed by his passion for Star, his serious interest in continuing his personal growth, and his understanding of the challenges we face. We are excited about how well Joe’s personal interests fit the needs of Star Island. Joe has a deep understanding of our traditions, and a balanced sense of how change can support our sustainability and the core Star Island experience.
We are committed to building upon the great work we have accomplished under Vicky’s leadership. We are fortunate to have time for up a smooth leadership transition from Vicky to Joe. We will be working closely together in the months ahead to implement an effective and forward-thinking transition plan.
You have known Joe most recently as our General Island Manager, greeting you at the “Fire & Water” orientation upon your arrival on Star. Many have interacted with Joe during his decades of engagement with Star. Joe’s love of the island started when he attended his first conference, LOAS II, thirty years ago. He started his commitment to Star as an end-of-season Pelican in 1987 and has never looked back – working in a number of seasonal and year-round roles ever since. Joe served as our Acting Executive Director before Vicky’s arrival in 2008, and more recently as our Conference Center Director. Joe is a leader dedicated to Star Island, to the people who have been coming for decades, and to the people who are new to our Spirit’s Home. We will have a CEO who has already formed enduring relationships with many of you, and has strong connections to our greater Island and Seacoast communities.
Please join us in welcoming Joe to his new position – I know he is eager to hear from you about your hopes and dreams for the future. And he’s excited to see you at the Annual Meeting in April or on the Island this summer!
Russell A. Peterson