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Lott wants museums financially stable

AAM CEO says social goods—diversity and inclusion—also can improve bottom line

Lott
Lott

July 26, 2019

American Alliance of Museums CEO Laura Lott is on a mission.

But, as the CPA and former chief financial officer/chief operating officer of the $13 million-revenue group points out, “No money, no mission.”

So, since first taking the CFO/COO role at AAM in 2010 (she was named CEO in 2015), her mission has been to ensure the financial sustainability of the organization—which once routinely ran half-million-dollar annual deficits—and lead her institutional members toward the same goal. That is a key part of the group’s 2016-20 strategic plan.

Interest in finance is not what draws people to the museum sector, and Lott has to be careful that the eyes of her members don’t “glaze over” when she discusses the “taboo” topic of making money.

But museum finances never have recovered to their pre-recession levels and the demographics of museum attendees are trending the wrong way.