Due to unavoidable but exciting developments, The Nick has just experienced a change in board leadership.
Our president since August 2021, Xavier Blake, started a new job in the Albany, NY, area on April 18 as Content & Engagement Manager for WMHT Public Media, the public broadcasting outlet for eastern New York state and western New England. He will continue to serve as a board member as “past-president.”
That means Mark Cooper, professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of South Carolina and our former vice president, has stepped up to become our new president. This comes as Mark is finishing a commitment to serve as chair of the Faculty Senate, where he has helped lead our state’s flagship public university through its own recent leadership changes.
Meanwhile, Charmaine Clowney, an attorney who consults in the area of diversity and inclusion, has stepped up to replace Mark as vice president.
“Xavier established a new tone and set a new pace for the board of directors,” said Mark. “He refocused our attention on the organization’s core mission and values and approached our project of renewal with courage and compassion.”
Mark praised Xavier’s successful leadership through a number of recent challenges. During these recent months, he:
- Led a successful search for a new executive director. Read more about that exciting development here.
- Reset, renewed, and restarted theatrical screenings after the long, dark months of the pandemic.
- Involved the Hive Collective consulting firm to help assess and improve board governance.
- Retained Willis HR to assess and improve workplace culture at The Nick.
Xavier said his new job “combines two things that I am incredibly passionate about and believe are inextricably connected for public media organizations, content and community engagement. I’m excited to get started in this role.”
He also promises we haven’t seen the last of him:
“Serving the Nickelodeon as president of the board has been one of the highlights of my career,” he said. “I’m proud of the work we have done as a board and community. I’m excited about this new chapter with Sumner as executive director and the direction in which the theater is moving, and I can’t wait to pop in for a movie when I’m back in South Carolina visiting family and friends.”