Providence, RI, February 1, 2023) – The Providence Preservation Society announced last night at their Annual Meeting that Brent Runyon, the current Executive Director of the organization, has decided to step aside in his role and make way for a leadership transition in 2023. An official search will begin imminently. Runyon and staff will continue stewarding the preservation work of the organization until a new Director is found.
“On behalf of the entire board at Providence Preservation Society, I want to thank Brent for his steadfast leadership and passion for preservation in Providence. While we are sad to see Brent leave, we are very proud of the work we’ve done together these past 9 years,” stated Warren Jagger, PPS’ Board President.
“Providence is an amazing place,” stated Brent Runyon. “We’ve done so much together in this near decade. I’m proud of our work together and I’m happy to have led the organization towards many accomplishments.”
During Runyon’s tenure, PPS has found stronger financial stability, increased advocacy impact and launched timely new programming. The organization raised $1.8 million for a capital campaign, including $450,000 to their endowment, helped the Industrial Trust Building (aka Superman Building) get listed in the 11 Most Endangered Sites in America and kept advocacy strong so that a solution to save the building could be found, and created Building Works, a needed workforce initiative which aims to upskill people already in the building trades and create a network of rehabbers. Over 75% of Providence’s building stock is over 50 years old. This critical and relevant program paves the way for strengthening the trades workforce while protecting Providence’s history.
“The key to our success has been in PPS’ ability to nurture strong relationships and trust with our longtime collaborators as well as new and growing constituencies,” continued Runyon. “I can say with confidence that we have done important work in this regard. And because of this, we are at the right time for a transition. I’m excited to see how PPS grows and expands under new leadership.”
“No organization exists for 67 years without change and evolution. We are in an incredibly strong position to continue protecting Providence’s historic assets,” continued Jagger. “The next Executive Director will be someone who is a thoughtful and growth-minded leader that excels in nurturing trust and collaboration across communities to ensure our continued organizational success.”
The Providence Preservation Society was founded in 1956 as an advocacy organization for neighborhood preservation and reinvestment. Since, it has grown to be one of the most venerable voices in the City with a national reputation as a thought-leader in the field of preservation. Today’s PPS aims to engage a broad and dynamic community who believes that preservation has a role to play in addressing a wide range of contemporary city challenges, including economic vitality, safe and healthy neighborhoods, and thoughtful planning and design for all residents of Providence.
For the 2023 Leadership Transition, a Search Committee has been formed, chaired by past board president Lucie Searle and current board member Katherine Pomplun, and supported by the full board, staff and advisors. The official search will begin in the coming weeks and will continue until the ideal candidate is found. In the meantime, Runyon, the talented staff and committed board at PPS will continue to steward the preservation work of the organization and grow our programs and initiatives to meet the ever changing needs of Providence. For more information, contact EDsearch@ppsri.org.