Thank you and farewell from Laura Brandon, GALA Executive Director
Dear GALA Members and Friends,
It is with mixed emotions that I announce I am stepping down as GALA’s Executive Director. Over the past 14 years, GALA has been more than just a job to me: it has been an adventure, a creative endeavor, and a rewarding challenge, but most importantly, it’s been an honor and a privilege. I have decided that now is the right time for me to bid farewell to the organization that I will always hold close to my heart.
When I started as GALA’s first employee in 2004, I never dreamed we would become the association that we are today – now 400 member companies strong with a successful core of programs supporting the growth and development of our members and our sector worldwide. Today GALA is more relevant than ever before, and I am proud of our many accomplishments and our reach. Our programs are growing, and our standing is excellent, with exciting new developments ahead as the organization evolves to meet new challenges.
I have recently accepted a role at the University of Washington Foster School of Business in Seattle. As Director of Executive Education & International Initiatives, I will be working with company leaders from Seattle and beyond to help them realize their potential through various training and degree programs. It’s a chance for me to focus on the companies in my region and to learn new industries and their unique business models.
I am delighted that Allison Ferch, our Programs Director will be assuming the role of Executive Director at GALA. Allison’s 8 years of service at GALA have included leadership on our conference, content development, marketing, and productive partnerships with organizations worldwide. She has been a colleague and friend for many years and I am confident that she will do a terrific job of leading the team, collaborating with the Board of Directors, and continuing GALA’s work to fulfill its mission.
GALA has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally in my time with the organization. I am grateful to the numerous members, dedicated volunteers, and tireless staff who have worked together to bring GALA’s mission and vision to life. Without a doubt, the highlight of my time at GALA has been the incredible industry friends and partners I have grown to know from around the world. I will cherish these friendships and experiences, and I look forward to following GALA’s progress – and the development of this fascinating industry – in the years ahead.
All my best,