Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New Executive Director Meg Love on Leadership and Friendship

In the spring of 2012, I attended my first BoHo company meeting. I had already worked for BoHo for four years and had finally agreed to join the company as Production Coordinator. At that time, I had no idea how much my life was about to change.

There was someone else joining the company the same day as me. Her name was Kaela. I was told that she was a board member who was becoming a company member in order to take over for Peter Blair as Executive Director. We bonded that night on the Robels' porch while the company inside voted on our membership status – both of us the new kids – both of us anticipating our upcoming adventures.

The first of these was Floyd Collins. I was the Stage Manager. Kaela was assisting Peter Blair as Producer in preparation of assuming his position in a matter of weeks. They say that those who experience a crisis together bond quickly. Even with the passing of time, I still believe it fair to call Floyd Collins' tech a crisis. It was the largest undertaking we had ever mounted at BoHo. There were dozens of sound cues to be crafted, including live echoes, a massive set to construct (and then repair when an actor fell through the stage), a multitude of costumes and props in a narrow dressing room, a pit anchored by a keyboard running on a computer program that kept crashing, and hundreds of light cues (which were still being added for the first time, live, as the show was happening, on preview night with the Wall Street Journal in the house). It was indeed a crisis-- the result of which was an absolutely beautiful piece that was critically acclaimed and a very personal, proud moment in my time as a stage manager, proving that the work is worth it!

While it has now become a blur, I fondly remember how quickly Kaela and I bonded during that week. I remember her intimating how very excited and nervous she was to take on the position of Executive Director and occasionally exclaiming that there were things that she simply “didn’t know how to do.” “But I do,” I said, “and you have me.” And since that day where we vowed to be there for each other almost like two kids at camp promising to be best friends forever. I have been lucky enough to have the most special relationship I could ever expect to have with a supervisor, a colleague and a friend.

It became very apparent over the years that there was, in actuality, nothing she “didn’t know how to do,” only that which she had not done yet.

Kaela is fierce. She is a passionate leader. She advocates for our company like no one I’ve seen. She supports our members and artists alike.

The position of Executive Director is not easy. It’s actually really, really hard-– and also pretty thankless. You’re relied upon to make business decisions in a creative world. Those decisions aren’t always popular-– and can often be met with friction. You’re relied upon to keep all the balls in the air. Way more balls than anyone in the company can fathom. To quantify all the ongoing projects Kaela was juggling at any given time would be a never ending list of licensing, accounting, party planning, providing therapy, and worrying about toilet paper. The varying scope of required talent is unreasonable. It’s like being a mother. Everyone needs you and no one knows exactly how you make the magic happen.

Despite all these factors, Kaela charged bravely forward with intelligence, grace and humor. Through these years she has become a best friend and an absolutely indispensable mentor. I have learned volumes from working by her side.

She is leaving some very large shoes to fill. And while I am both extremely excited and a bit scared to assume this incredibly important position, I know that I will succeed. I am inheriting a very healthy company. We have an active board of passionate individuals-– fostered by Kaela. We have an organized company and a near seamless production process-– implemented by Kaela. And we are the most financially stable we have ever been as a company-– stewarded by the unstoppable collaboration of Ryan Guhde and (you guessed it) Kaela.

So, thank you, Kaela. I will miss you dearly as a leader, but I am comforted to know that you have secured our future through your years of service. Your faith in me as your successor means so much and I will do my best to always do you and this company proud.

But, for me, the most important takeaway is that I have found a lifelong friend. And while this part of our adventure is coming to a close, I know that we have so much more to come!

Thank you – for being our leader – and for being my friend.

-Meg Love, Executive Director

Read the press release about our Executive Director transition

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