Save Our Seabirds introduced its new executive director, Brian Walton, at the nonprofit's second annual For the Birds Art Event and Sale on Oct. 16 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
Ken Goldberg organized the event and was on the committee that chose the new executive director.
“We started the process to find a new executive director around July,” said Goldberg. "It was time for a change on both of our ends, both for Aaron Virgin and Save Our Seabirds. Brian just checked off all the boxes. He has a lot of experience in the nonprofit world and is a personable person, and I believe will be a great leader.”
His first official day as executive director was Oct. 16. Walton said he is excited to join such a passionate and hardworking group.
The event hosted over a dozen award-winning local artists, featuring their unique avian-inspired art in a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, crafts, photography and mixed media. People were able to browse the work while sipping on cocktails and enjoying appetizers.
Goldberg said the event was started last year as a more casual event compared to the spring soiree.
Half the revenue from For the Birds went to SOS while the other half went to the artists. All the proceeds that went to SOS will be put toward permanent aviaries, a new hospital, new research and the general budget.
“It is amazing to have supporters together on a beautiful afternoon, enjoying if not purchasing the art,” said Goldberg. “Anything that brings people together these times is a good thing in my view. Being with your neighbors, in a relaxed atmosphere on a beautiful day in Sarasota. I mean it just doesn't get any better.”