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Changes underway at Honolulu Museum of Art with departure of deputy director

A veteran administrator at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Allison Wong, who held the position of deputy director for operations and administration, is no longer with the institution, chief communications officer Kevin Imanaka confirmed in an email Monday.

Imanaka included a copy of an email sent to staff by the museum’s director and CEO, Halona Norton-Westbrook last week, announcing that Wong would be leaving and the role of deputy director would “not be part of the staffing plan of the museum going forward.”

Instead, as part of a process of organizational restructuring, the museum would be recruiting “in the immediate future” for the newly created position of chief operating officer, Norton-Westbrook said.

“This change is driven both by the circumstances that have shaped all of our lives in the last year and by our proactive creation of a strategic and operational plan that will guide our museum forward in the next five years,” she wrote.

In addition to providing oversight of all operational aspects of the museum including Human Resources, finance, IT, security, facilities, and the cafe and shop, the COO “will guide forward a comprehensive strategy to optimize the efforts of teams across the museum and further evolve our approach to resource management and earned revenue,” Norton-Westbrook wrote.

To aid in the transition, she announced, the museum would hire a consultant, Carol Bintz, former COO of the Toledo Museum of Art, for two months, beginning May 10.

In her email, Norton-Westbrook, who was giving a presentation and not available for comment before press time this evening, also asked the staff to join her in extending “our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for Allison’s work and dedication on behalf of HoMA,” and said the organization looked forward to supporting Wong in her next steps.

A call to Wong seeking comment was not returned.

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