On December 6, 2003, Michele Bechtell founded a small art history museum to bring the visual art masters to families in rural Georgia. Her vision was to bring art history to life by creating an internationally respected art collection, outstanding exhibitions, teaching gardens to interpret visual art, inter-disciplinary programming with a visual art focus, and a relaxing intimate setting to refresh the spirit, all in a pedestrian friendly location.
What began as a personal vision morphed into a community collaboration supporting the Madison Museum of Fine Art (MMoFA), a 501-c-3 charitable educational institution. Today the museum is hailed a jewel box of original art with a gem of a reputation for outstanding programming.
As Chairman of the Board, Bechtell lends direction and vision to Museum operations. With a focus on the masters, Bechtell advocates visual art literacy and excellence in all aspects of life and museum management. She promotes programs that celebrate the aesthetic innovations that shape art history in ways that engage all the senses. And she emphasizes the reciprocal influence of visual art on literature, science, politics, and social dynamics for lifelong learning that nourishes the mind and refreshes the spirit.
Apart from the arts, Bechtell is an international management consultant, author, educator, and public speaker on organizational transformation for strategic positioning in dynamic markets. She began her career at the global consulting firm Arthur D. Little, Inc. There she educated industry leaders on quality management, learning organizations, root cause analysis, high performance process design, scorecard metrics, and team leadership. Bechtell subsequently launched an international private practice, coaching executives on leadership and proven protocoals for organizational alignment.
A best-selling author, Bechtell has published three books: Untangling Organizational Gridlock commissioned by the American Society for Quality Control with guidelines on service excellence and organizational transformation. The Management Compass commissioned by the American Management Association and distributed to 70,000 members worldwide, offering a reliable strategic planning and implementation process. And On Target, translated into four languages, providing proven protocols to align daily activity with strategic objectives in a changing environment.
Bechtell has assisted numerous arts organizations including the Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Orchestra, deCordova Museum, Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Birmingham Art Museum, and Atlanta History Center. She obtained her MS from Cornell University and her BA from Bowdoin College. She holds US and Irish citizenship. She is a registered mediator and arbitrator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.