Craft Alliance – Client Success Story

Nonprofit executive search firm KEES leads a successful partnership with Client Partner Craft Alliance. This partnership adds Craft Alliance to KEES’ long list of clients in the broadly defined Arts sector.

Located in St. Louis, MO, Craft Alliance nurtures and inspires creativity and engagement, educating and enriching our community through contemporary craft.

In January 2023, Craft Alliance retained KEES as its nonprofit executive search partner, after their current leader announced his retirement. A comprehensive, national, search for the next Executive Director was launched, and leadership ultimately selected Bryan Knicely from a talented and diverse group of top finalists, to serve as Craft Alliance’s brand ambassador.

Knicely is a well-respected arts administrator with over three decades of industry experience and an unwavering belief that art can transform lives and reinforce our shared humanity. A promoter of equity and inclusion, Bryan brings a personal commitment to inclusivity and engagement of those who have been traditionally left out or discriminated against. Bryan is an enthusiastic change manager who collaboratively develops strong and team-spirited operations. His love of the arts comes from exposure to multiple types of Art, being an amateur photographer, and an avid art collector.

About KEES

KEES (formerly Alford Executive Search) is a nonprofit executive search firm that builds diverse teams and dynamic leaders in the nonprofit and public entity sectors. A woman-owned and operated firm, KEES offers a full array of nonprofit consulting services including executive search, leadership development, interim staffing, and HR support. For more information, please visit

“As Craft Alliance embarks on its next chapter, we sought a leader to propel change,” said Board Chair Peggy Holly. “After a thorough and extensive national search process, the board and staff are delighted to have Bryan lead Craft Alliance as we build on the great foundation and positive momentum built by Mark Witzling.”

About Craft Alliance

Craft Alliance is a visual arts organization nurturing and inspiring creativity to educate and enrich the community through contemporary craft. Established in 1964, Craft Alliance will celebrate 60 years of partnership with St. Louis artisans and craft makers in 2024. From its 15,000-square-foot location in the Delmar Maker District, Craft Alliance offers extensive community outreach programs, exhibitions, and education classes for all skill levels in a variety of mediums, artist residencies, youth camps, and a gallery shop. Each year, 15,000+ people come through the doors to experience a full spectrum of educational resources. Nationally recognized as one of the country’s premier nonprofit craft organizations, Craft Alliance is the only organization of its kind in the region solely dedicated to contemporary craft. To learn more, visit

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