The Naples Art Association (NAA) Board of Directors is proud to announce that Aimee Schlehr has been named Executive Director. President of the board Stacey Bulloch says Schlehr has shown true commitment and passion for the organization. Prior to her promotion, Schlehr served the NAA as the COO/CFO. “Aimee has shown real initiative by steadily taking on increasing responsibilities at the art center and has proven to be a valued and thoughtful member of the team. In her time here, she has inspired a spirit of cooperation with all who are involved. Her understanding of what the art center means to the community and its members is paramount and we are excited to recognize her exceptional talent and leadership with this new title,” Bulloch said.
How it all began
Schlehr began part time with the NAA in 2009, serving the organization’s accounting needs. She was soon offered fulltime employment as Chief Financial Officer. From the beginning, she has focused on strengthening the financial foundations of the organization, and through her diligence and careful budget oversight, the organization has persevered through difficult times.
Recognizing that her colleagues and peers held her in high esteem for her attention to detail and team building strengths, the board of directors appointed her Chief Operating Officer in April 2011. Schlehr has served as COO/CFO since then. In this role, she took charge of the day to day responsibilities of running a successful art center, holding weekly meetings with staff to keep operations steadily on track, brainstorming and planning for future programs, serving as an ambassador to the Naples community with fellow business leaders.
Rising to the top
Through her continued leadership, Schlehr has established and deepened the art center’s relationships with nonprofit groups and business leaders. She has secured sponsorships and lead efforts to increase awareness and partnership opportunities with the association. Following the retirement of the association’s previous executive director, Schlehr moved calmly to unite, lead and encourage staff in their focus on the mission and programming progress.
Since January 2012, Schlehr has gradually accepted added responsibilities and organizational expectations. She now looks forward to continuing to guide the staff and organization toward growth and progress. Her vision is to strengthen the organization’s roots in the community, continue supporting and promoting local artists and inspiring new audiences to discover and create art.
As Executive Director, Schlehr becomes a chief representative and spokesperson of the organization, and she eagerly engages with community leaders to encourage investment in the Naples Art Association. Schlehr believes that the best years are yet ahead, where the organization’s relationships will strengthen, the mission becomes reenergized, and businesses and individual donors are engaged and recognized for their support. “I love being part of this team, building community relationships and seeing artists of all ages creating and honing their talents,” Schlehr said. She will also continue to oversee the financial management and day to day operations of the art center.
A vision for the future
Her management experience and solid understanding of the dollars and cents of the business makes her a true asset to the organization. “As a nonprofit, the challenge is to run the organization as a business while staying focused on our mission. We have a responsibility to our donors and corporate supporters to utilize their gifts to strengthen programming and provide sustainability while reassuring them that their investment will make an impact on their community,” Schlehr said.
Aimee Schlehr is both a Leadership Collier and Fast Trac graduate, class of 2012, as well as a member of the National Association of Professional Women, which named her one of their 2012 Women of the Year. Schlehr serves on the boards for Immokalee Housing and Family Services, Seminole Club of Naples, and the FSU Family Connection. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Leo University and she owned her own catering business for 15 years on Florida’s east coast.
Schlehr is a fifth generation Floridian. She loves travelling and spending time with her family, her husband of 25 years and her four children. Her first grandson was born in August 2012. Also, with two of her daughters attending Florida State University in Tallahassee, she loves keeping tabs on FSU football. Go Noles!