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Malloy's Wife Named CEO Of Greater Hartford Arts Council

By JENNA CARLESSO

October 10, 2011

HARTFORD Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's wife has been named chief executive officer of the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

Cathy Malloy will replace Kate Bolduc, who announced in July that she would step down from the position, saying it was "a personal decision."

Malloy will begin work as CEO on Oct. 17. Officials at the arts council would not disclose Malloy's annual salary. Bolduc's salary was not available, but her predecessor, Kenneth Kahn, was paid $173,992 in 2008.

Bolduc will assist Malloy for "a brief time" as she transitions into her new role, officials at the arts council said Monday. Bolduc served as head of the organization for more than two years.

"She is hands-on, responsible and incredibly dynamic," Shirley Payne, the council's board president, said of Malloy. "She's a real take-charge type of person."

A seven-member search committee, lead by Payne, began searching for Bolduc's replacement in July. They received 17 applications and interviewed eight candidates, Payne said.

The board's executive committee approved Malloy's hiring on Friday. Payne said Malloy was out of town over the weekend, so an offer was made to her by phone. Malloy signed a 24-month contract with the arts council Sunday night, Payne said.

The organization's United Arts Campaign provides grants and services to more than 150 groups in the region each year. It seeks grants from the state and federal government.

Asked Monday if Malloy's hiring poses a conflict of interest because her husband is governor, arts council board Chairman Jay Benet replied: "There are procedures you have to follow, and we'd obviously follow them to make sure everything is done appropriately. Whether or not she's the governor's wife, we're in full compliance all the time.

"We'll do whatever we can to avoid a conflict of interest."

Cathy Malloy told the Associated Press in a February interview that she planned to work full time while her husband is governor and at the time, she said that she didn't want any position that involved writing grants for state funds. "I'm specifically looking for a job now that will have nothing to do with soliciting the state for anything," she said, according to the AP. "I'm not going to be looking for jobs or accepting any positions where I would be involved in anything to do with the state of Connecticut."

However, the arts council does receive state grants. It received $128,357 in "state aid grants" during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010, according to the official state website transparency.ct.gov. "GHAC is supported primarily individual, corporate and foundation contributions," but it is also supported "by grants from the State of Connecticut and the city of Hartford," according to the most recent independent auditors' report for the arts council, published on its website. The arts council is scheduled to receive just under $95,000 from the state in both the 2011-12 fiscal year and the 2012-13 fiscal year. Organizations that the council provides funding for, and from which it solicits funding, also receive money from the state.

Payne said the council's chief operating officer oversees the "administrative process of applying for grants," though Malloy would have input.

"If anything were to come up, we would put policies in place [to avoid] any conflict of interest, or the perception of that," Payne said. "[Malloy] is not going to hesitate to make the right call. She's navigated these waters for years when she ran a nonprofit in Stamford and her husband was the mayor there."

Malloy worked previously as executive director of the Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education, a nonprofit, in Stamford.

"It was a position she held for more than 10 years, growing its financial base, increasing awareness, building education programs and expending services for victims, survivors and their loved ones," the arts council said in statement Monday.

Prior to that, Malloy served as vice president of development and campaign director for the United Way of Stamford/Greenwich.

Malloy will be the ninth chief executive officer of the council since its founding in 1971, officials said. Payne said Malloy was not recruited by the council; rather, she applied on her own for the position.

Will K. Wilkins, executive director of Real Art Ways, said Malloy's social service background is an asset.

"The arts has a strong social role to play, partly because so many people are in need, but also because we live very separate lives from one another," he said. "A lot of the vibrancy that could be here as an urban area is missing, and I think the arts has a role to play in connecting people to one another. I think [Malloy] understands that."

Courant reporter Jon Lender contributed to this story.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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