Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Appoints Interim Executive Director
Announces Departure of DeSaulnier and Welcomes Amdal

April 3, 2019 (OAKLAND, CA) - The Board of Directors for Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Maren L. Amdal, CAE as Interim Executive Director. We are confident she will provide strong operational and governance leadership during this time of transition following the departure of Mark R. DeSaulnier, who has accepted a position with Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Amdal and DeSaulnier will be working together over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth and effective transition for OIGC. A national search will be underway in the coming months. 

Maren (pronounced MAH-ren) has more than 15 years of leadership, development, and management experience in non-profit and arts organizations, including roles with San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and Calliope Women’s Chorus in Minneapolis, MN, among many others. Maren currently serves on several boards of directors, including Community Women’s Orchestra in Oakland, CA. As a consultant and facilitator, Maren brings extensive leadership skills and entrepreneurial success as well as strategic vision to her guidance of organizations in both the profit and nonprofit sectors. 

“Maren’s proven business acumen and governance experience make her an excellent choice for OIGC,” Board Chair Mike Gooding said. “She will lead through a critical phase of planning and transition that will set our course for long-term growth and sustainability.” Maren will partner with the OIGC Board of Directors on organizational planning and the search for a permanent Executive Director and will also manage operations for the organization, including programs, workshops, and concerts. She will oversee staff and administration, acting as steward and supporter during the search process. 

Of her new role, Maren says, “I am honored to lead the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir during this period of transition, and I am grateful to Terrance Kelly, the Board of Directors, and our singing members and funders, whose hard work and support have helped OIGC grow into a vital resource for our community. Having sung in the OIGC Community Choir for the past three years, I look forward to the opportunity to contribute now behind the scenes with staff and board as they embark on this important transition and begin to lay the groundwork for development of their next strategic plan.”

Artistic Director Terrance Kelly said of the appointment, “We are thrilled to have someone as passionate for and knowledgeable about our choir community as Maren to carry our important work forward during this exciting time. We share a commitment to our mission ‘to inspire joy and unity among all people through black gospel and spiritual music traditions’, and both the staff and board look forward to working with Maren as we plan for a promising new chapter.”

The Board maintains its commitment to high standards during this transition and will continue to work toward a strong future. While we will miss Mark, and we thank him for his many years of service, please join us all in welcoming Maren to OIGC family! 


Michael Gooding, Board Chair – board@oigc.org
Maren Amdal, Interim Exec. Dir. – maren@oigc.org