The Ladies’ Village Improvement Society of East Hampton, a 126-year-old nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and beautification of the village, is raising eyebrows after hiring a man to be its executive director.
The group hired Russell Kratoville, the former Village of Southampton administrator who resigned in September at Mayor Jesse Warren’s request. But one of the women who applied for the nonprofit’s director position blasted the organization for hiring him.
“If you want to know what systemic sexism looks like, here it is,” said Morgan Duke Vaughan, noting that she knows of at least one other woman who applied who would have been a good fit. “This is not sour grapes. This is fury after a lifetime of having to be 200% smarter, better, and more connected than the most mediocre guy in the room — and still not getting the job — even when women are doing the hiring.”
The criticism came after the group recently issued a statement announcing Kratoville’s hiring.
“Russell’s background is tailor-made for the needs of LVIS,” the statement said, noting his experience in media relations, finance, management, government, and involvement in nonprofit fundraisers. “In addition to his impressive resume, his East Hampton family connections go back to the early 1900s.”
The group did not respond to a request for comment on the criticism.
“To think that this organization built on the sweat and smarts of women who at the time couldn’t even aspire to leadership of this rank, gave its first executive position to a man is beyond my imagination,” Vaughan said. “Surely East Hampton’s cemeteries are churning.”