When the global economy imploded in fall 2008, the Academy immediately went on a cost-cutting spree. Since then, the museum has reduced its annual budget by more than $1 million. And staff is still encouraged to find savings anywhere they can. Earlier this year, CFO Aaron Kibota launched the CFO Award program to recognize staffers’ creative ideas to save money. With the award comes $500.

In April, the first award went out to Vince Hazen, head of the Academy Art Center at Linekona, for renegotiating a contract with VSA Arts. Today, the second award was granted jointly to Annette Sekine, operations genius, and Danilo Urbano, part of our super maintenance team. Pictured above is Interim Director Lynne Johnson, handing the awards to Annette and Danilo. Annette and Danilo not only got creative, but threw in elbow grease too. They terminated the mat and dust mop service that cost the Academy $5,300 annually. They instead purchased supplies for about $600, and now Danilo and coworkers Manny and Jesse will undertake cleaning and mopping duties. The Academy is grateful for their dedication to the museum. Total annual savings from their idea is about $4,600 a year.

Money we save on operations leaves more for programming and free offerings for museum visitors. So please come to the Academy and take advantage of all we have to offer you! Opening this week is the exhibition Four Thousand Years of Southeast Asian Art