Julie F. Simpson Steps Down as Executive Director; Board Names Eileen Gill Interim Director

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On April 22, 2011, Urban Gateways Board of Directors announced that Julie Simpson, Executive Director of Urban Gateways for the past 4 years, resigned, effective immediately.

In her resignation letter, Simpson said she is “planning to dedicate herself to providing leadership locally and nationally in the area of cross-sector arts and community development initiatives, and to re-engaging herself on a strategic level in the philanthropic sector.”

“We thank Julie for her innovation, her energy, and her unflagging devotion to the vital role of the arts in children’s lives,” said Board of Directors President Thomas Abrahamson. “And we are fortunate that Urban Gateways has an extraordinarily dedicated and experienced senior leadership team, staff, and Board who will continue to deliver work of the highest quality as the organization seeks a new chief executive.”

During the transition, the Board has secured the services of Eileen Gill to serve as Interim Executive Director. Gill, who resigned her post on the Urban Gateways Board to accept the interim position, has a distinguished career in arts management and leadership, specializing in strategic planning and organizational capacity building.

Gill has served in senior management and consulting roles for the Chicago and Los Angeles Museums of Contemporary Art, and has been a management, fundraising, and strategic planning consultant for more than eight years with Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt in Chicago, and Arts Consulting Group in Los Angeles. In Chicago, she served as Director of Development for the Ravinia Festival, Executive Director of the Alumni Association at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, and Director of Individual Giving and Membership for the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Just a few weeks ago we celebrated our 50th Anniversary in grand style and honored the many people who have made Urban Gateways the leader in arts education—not just here in Chicago—but across the country,” said Abrahamson. “As we enter our next fifty years, our organization is well-poised to continue the great work we have been doing, under new leadership.”