In an unexpected move, the governing board of the Magens Bay Authority announced Wednesday that it has replaced longtime general manager Hubert Brumant.
The board has appointed its operations manager, MemorieAnne Brown-Callender, as the interim general manager.
Attempts to reach Brumant for comment were not immediately successful.
The board’s press release announcing the move gave no explanation. It thanked Brumant “for his many years of service” and said the board “wishes him much success in his future endeavors.”
Asked for more detail, Board Chair Barbara Petersen said, “The board has decided to go in a different direction” and be more aggressive in promoting the beach facilities. “We felt that Mr. Brumant was not the right fit.”
She said the action was taken “in a special board meeting yesterday (Tuesday).” The board had its regular monthly meeting on Feb. 24 and the special meeting was called in response to an incident. She did not elaborate but added, “The board had grounds for making the decision that we made.”
Petersen said the salary for the position is somewhere between $80,000 and $85,000. The board will conduct a search for a new general manager but she gave no timetable for the process.
In the meantime, she expressed confidence in Brown-Callender.
“She’s extremely qualified,” Petersen said, adding that beyond her responsibilities for finances, Brown-Callender has taken an active role in promoting the park. She was responsible for the newly instituted “Fairchild Day” celebration at Magens Bay Beach to mark its donation by Arthur S. Fairchild to the people of the Virgin Islands in 1946. Meant to be an annual occasion, the event was held for the first time on Dec. 27.
In a phone interview with the Source, Brown-Callender said she grew up on St. Thomas, graduating from Antilles School in 2001 before earning a bachelor of science degree in economics and finance from the University of Tampa in Florida. She followed that with an MBA, specializing in non-profit management from the University of Maryland, and is currently pursuing a doctorate from the University of the Virgin Islands.
Brown-Callender said she worked with the Girl Scouts for eight years, much of that time spent in Europe where she was director of girls’ programming, serving the children of U.S. service personnel, and acting as a liaison between the organization and the U.S. Defense Department.
She and her husband, Curtis Callender, a licensed professional counselor and also a 2001 Antilles graduate, moved back to St. Thomas several years ago. Brown-Callender said she worked as a federal grant analysis specialist at the V.I. Health Department for a few months before joining the Magens Bay Authority about three years ago.
“I love Magens Bay,” she said. “I learned to swim at Magens Bay. I want to be a part of making sure it’s here for generations to come.”
The Magens Bay Authority manages not only the Magens Bay Beach operations but also the Smith Bay Park, which came into government hands more recently than Magens.
Brumant has been the general manager for the Magens Bay Authority since 2007. Before he joined the Authority, he was widely lauded for his service at the Humane Society’s St. Thomas animal shelter, which he managed for about 13 years.
According to a 2006 profile of him on the Source, he has a biology degree from UVI. Prior to moving to St. Thomas, he worked for 10 years as an agriculture officer for the government of Dominica, his native island.