Every year more than 100,000 people visit Filoli, a Georgian-style mansion and formal gardens in Woodside. And more than 1,000 volunteers keep it running. This week, they got an email from Filoli’s executive committee alerting them to the departure of Executive Director Cynthia D'Agosta and the search for an interim replacement.
Did she resign? Was she fired? The email doesn't say, and a spokeswoman for Filoli wouldn't elaborate. But the timing raises eyebrows, as Filoli’s biggest annual event, “Holiday Traditions,” begins the day after Thanksgiving.
Last winter, after D'Agosta required all volunteers to sign a new legal agreement to continue at Filoli, roughly 100 left. The bitter battle may well be the defining event of D'Agosta's three-year tenure at Filoli. But it's not clear whether that had anything to do with her departure.
The new guidelines require volunteers to donate their services, perform duties as assigned, allow Filoli to use photos for promotional purposes and pay for medical costs incurred by accident, illness or injury associated with volunteering.