Kim Motes will step down as senior vice president for institutional advancement at St. Thomas on Feb. 19 to become managing director of Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis.

Motes joined St. Thomas in July 2014 after serving three years and one-half years as vice president for institutional advancement at the College of Saint Benedict. She spent the first two decades of her career in arts organizations in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.

“This was an extremely difficult decision,” Motes said. “I have loved my time at St. Thomas and have been thrilled to work with so many dedicated and committed people. But my heart is in the theater, and the opportunity at Children’s was too good to say no.”

President Julie Sullivan thanked Motes for her inspired service to St. Thomas, particularly her work in reorganizing the Institutional Advancement Division and her campus-wide leadership of a new branding initiative, which will be launched publicly in February.

“While we will certainly miss her,” Sullivan said in an email to faculty and staff, “this is a tremendous opportunity for Kim to take on a leadership role of an acclaimed theater company and to return to the arts, where she spent 20 years of her career.”

Children’s Theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary as “North American’s flagship theater for young people and families as well as a major cultural and artistic resource in Minnesota.” The first theater for young people to win the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater, it has welcomed more than 11 million people and created more than 200 plays since 1965.

Sullivan also announced that consultant Mark Kronholm will have an expanded leadership and strategic planning role in Institutional Advancement until Motes’ successor is named. He has worked with St. Thomas over the past year in both Advancement and Development, and is a former vice president for external relations at Carleton College.

When Motes joined St. Thomas, she inherited 17 vacancies in her division. She reorganized the Development and Alumni and Constituent Relations departments, hired 21 new staff members “and built a talented team,” Sullivan said, while launching new programs such as Tommie Give Day to expand the donor base and deepen alumni engagement.

As co-chair of the university’s strategic plan task force on the Enhanced Visibility and Profile priority, Motes also led a 22-member branding working group that worked with two agencies and dozens of staff members across the university on the new branding project. She has agreed to remain available as a consultant on the project.

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