Charles Brown, who has served as Director of Libraries for the past seven years, has announced plans to leave the system at the end of the fiscal year in June. Brown took over the library when it was still flush with cash from the 1990s and early 2000s boom in Mecklenburg County. Because of a slow economy, however, funds dried up, and the library was forced to make major changes from top to bottom.
Brown will be replaced in the interim by Vick Phillips, an executive who once served as chief of staff for former Bank of America Chairman and CEO Hugh McColl Read the full press release after the break.
In a proactive move to position itself for the FY 2012 budget and the recommendations of the Future of the Library Task Force this spring, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board has approved interim changes in the Library’s executive management structure.
Charles Brown, who has served as Director of Libraries for the past seven years, has announced plans to leave the system at the end of the fiscal year in June. He will remain with the Library in a management role until that time, assisting with daily operations and system changes as needed.
Vick Phillips, an experienced executive who once served as chief of staff for former Bank of America Chairman and CEO Hugh McColl, will join the Library as an interim Chief Executive Officer during the transition. Phillips will play a lead role in daily and strategic operations for the Library while he also guides the Library’s budget planning process and prepares the organization for the Task Force’s recommendations.
“The Library is entering a new chapter, and we feel that Vick Phillips’ leadership, along with the experience and knowledge of Charles Brown, will help ensure an even higher level of success in implementing recommended changes for the future,” says Robin Branstrom, chair of the Library Board. “This will give us greater flexibility and a new pool of management talent and experience during a period of change.”
Brown, who is credited with helping guide the growth and nationally recognized achievements of the Library over the past seven years, says the timing is right for him to step aside in the management of a Library that must undergo fundamental changes as a result of severe and long-term budget limitations.
“It’s critical that we recognize the need for different types of management based on changing environmental and organizational needs,” Brown says. “I am proud of the achievements we have made at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in service to this community, and I look forward to working with Vick, the Task Force, our Library board and staff over the next few months as the system moves into a new era. I am also looking forward to a new phase in my career beginning this summer.”
“We have a great appreciation of Charles and his leadership for the past seven years,” adds Branstrom. “We wish him well as he enters the next phase of a stellar career.”
Phillips spent more than 32 years with Bank of America (formerly NCNB and NationsBank) in a variety of management roles, leading a number of business units through strategic, organizational and cultural changes. After retiring from BofA, he served as managing director of Carolinas Investment Consulting LLC in Charlotte from 2004-2010. He also has a history of community involvement in Charlotte, serving on the boards of Hope Haven, Inc., the Charlotte Young Life Committee, the Volunteer Center Board for United Way, and the Volunteer Personnel Retention Committee for the Charlotte Chapter of the Red Cross. He currently serves as Treasurer/Chairman of the Audit & Finance Committee for Military Community Youth Ministries, an international ministry headquartered in Colorado Springs that works with teenage dependents of US military families.
“Vick is a proven leader with a deep appreciation for the rigors of change management,” Branstrom says. “We are fortunate to have attracted such strong management talent on an interim basis as we develop a new fiscal year budget and prepare to implement the Task Force recommendations.”
Phillips, at the request of Foundation For The Carolinas and to assist the Task Force, recently completed preliminary work for a diagnostic analysis of the Library. In doing so, he met with stakeholders from the Library, Mecklenburg County, and the Task Force.
“I am looking forward to an outstanding partnership with Charles Brown as I take on this new challenge,” says Phillips. “Libraries are an essential element of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community that we must do everything possible to foster and sustain. Our citizens have voiced their support for our libraries very loudly and clearly over the past months, and we want them to know that we are working hard to ensure that our libraries continue to provide the services this community needs.”
“We are very glad to have Vick on board,” adds Branstrom. “The Board asked him to help, and we are fortunate that he said yes.”