Eiteljorg’s chief fundraising executive set to retire

Suzanne "Susie" Maxwell, who has overseen strategic fundraising efforts at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art for the past seven years, is stepping down, the museum announced Thursday.

Maxwell, the museum’s vice president for development since 2009, will retire from the position June 24.

The retirement will cap Maxwell's 30-plus-year career as a development executive in Indianapolis. Prior to joining the Eiteljorg, she spent 18 years in multiple development and leadership roles at at Park Tudor School and seven years as the planned giving officer at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

"During her seven-year tenure, Susie Maxwell has been the key factor in the Eiteljorg Museum’s achieving financial support for Project New Moon, the museum’s extraordinarily successful effort to grow attendance and participation from new audiences,” CEO John Vanausdall said in a written statement. "She is the consummate fundraiser and her efforts have benefited not only the Eiteljorg, but also have made a profound and lasting impact on many other important institutions in our community.”

Maxwell has won numerous awards for her work, including a Sagamore of the Wabash award in 1995.

“My work has been fulfilling because of the wonderful individuals, corporations and foundations who have allowed me to work at their side to promote philanthropic needs and deserving institutions,” Maxwell said in written remarks.

The leadership transition comes at a key time for the museum. In January, the Eiteljorg laid off five full-time employees in a reorganization prompted in part by lower-than-expected attendance and revenue in 2015.

The museum is preparing to launch a 5-year campaign to boost its $20 million endowment, a move that—if it’s successful—could stabilize the museum’s operating revenue for future years.


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