Friday, July 30, 2010

The Search Is On ... Again

POSTED: July 29, 2010

After little more than a year at the helm of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, Corie Curtis, a Falconer native, has stepped down from the post.

The center's board of directors announced the change in a news release Wednesday.

Thomas P. Benson, board president, said the center has undergone an internal restructuring and cross-training of staff, daily operations are running efficiently and the center's recent and upcoming activities are evidence of its vision to create a comedy movement in the area.

"The center has made significant progress the past year," Benson said, "and that progress includes a renewed commitment to our purpose of promoting and developing comedy."

Ms. Curtis holds a degree in advertising and communications from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. For three years until 2008, she served as the volunteer executive director of the Feed Their Dreams Children's Foundations. She has also worked as a member of the Council for the Advancement & Support of Education and, in 2004, served as the fundraising consultant for the Rhode Island Hospitality & Tourism Association's capital campaign.

"My time at Lucy-Desi has been an unforgettable experience and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and for such capable and kind people. Professionally, my departure from this amazing career was a very difficult decision, but my heart is leading me on to an entirely new adventure," Ms. Curtis said.

Ms. Curtis' departure is the latest in a turbulent couple of years for the center since the departure of Ric Wyman in September 2008. The center was forced to close its gift shop, a building on North Main Street that is now up for sale, and consolidate operations into two other buildings on West Third Street. Hours at the Desilu Playhouse and museum were reduced and several employees were laid off as part of the board's efforts to trim expenses and keep the center afloat.

Lucie Arnaz-Luckinbill, daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, said the center is still going strong and wished Ms. Curtis well in her future endeavors.

"Corie has been a godsend and the center has never been stronger,'' Ms. Arnaz-Luckinbill said. "We hate to see her go follow other dreams and even tried locking her in her office. But we were finally convinced even the best of our leaders deserve to explore the possibility of true love! My brother Desi and I wish her only the best and look forward to the new ideas and renewed energy that change always brings."

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