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Riverviews Artspace director resigns to become new United Way CEO

The executive director of the nonprofit Riverviews Artspace in downtown Lynchburg has announced her resignation to become the next CEO of United Way of Central Virginia.

Kim Soerensen has served as executive director of Riverviews for the past six and a half years. In a letter Thursday, she said after carefully considering her decision, she accepted a new opportunity “I cannot decline.” 

Soerensen will step down at the end of this year and become the CEO of United Way of Central Virginia. The new position, she told The News & Advance in an email, will help her continue her ultimate passion of community service work in an even greater capacity.

The board of directors at Riverviews Artspace has created a search committee to seek the organization's next executive director, she said.

Jan Walker, board chair of United Way of Central Virginia, said in a news release sent Monday that Soerensen's selection as new CEO and president concludes a six-month nationwide search to fill the position.

“Amongst all the candidates, Kim’s experience as a business leader, combined with her instinctive approach of understanding the needs of others, convinced our board that she was the perfect individual to begin this next chapter of United Way," Walker said. "We are very pleased with this outcome.”

In her letter, Soerensen thanked her fellow Riverviews staff members and the entire community for their support of the organization. She highlighted the growth of Riverviews Artspace during her time there, and said she would miss working with artists, stakeholders, patrons, and her colleagues on staff.

“It has been such a pleasure meeting and working with many of you over the past 6.5 years,” Soerensen said in her letter. “Together we have expanded from an organization of two part-time staff members and 3,700 annual visitors to an anchor of a thriving arts community with over 12,000 annual visitors. In addition to exhibits, Riverviews offers community outreach, programs like the Sparks Media Lab, Emerging Artists program, poetry walk, Makers Brunch and much more. Most of all, because of you — Riverviews Artspace survived the pandemic.”

She also thanked the community for support that helped rebuild aging infrastructure and obtaining the needed technical equipment to exhibit “the newest artforms of digital media.”

Soerensen said in the letter she looks forward to watching the organization continue to grow, even though she is no longer at the helm. She added that she looks forward to being a patron of Riverviews.

“Thank you again for the amazing opportunity of being the steward of Riverviews Artspace,” Soerensen said in the letter.

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