I've been Director of the Mendocino County Museum for 5 years now!!! If anyone had told me then, that these years would be devoted to restoring Museum staffing to its level of 15 years ago and fixing the roof leaks, . . . . . . . Well, there's a lot to be said for doggedly moving forward, optimistic that each year is the year it will all come together (and then mercifully losing track of time).
There's even more to be said for the amazing crew of people who have joined along the way.
Herb Pruett, who bookended nearly forty years of Museum history, from 1972 to the first decade of the 21st century. Mark Rawitsch and Dan Taylor, who captained the Museum in the critical 1980s and 1990s respectively.
The folks who welcomed me here when I first began: Nikki Burgess and Elaine Hamby.
Eileen Pinsky, who kept the front desk afloat during an almost twelve month period when she and I were the only staff at the Museum, has gone on to well-deserved retirement!
Barbara Willens, my first staff hire in 2011, very part-time, an "early adopter", she took on volunteer recruitment and the Museum Gift Shop with creativity and flair. And she still does.
Janet Rayner, my second staff hire in 2012, very part-time as well, with Energizer-Bunny elan, a Swiss Army knife-like array of skills, and a can-do-anything attitude, launched an amazing three-year run of activity (before returning to Connecticut, from whence she came).
Paloma Patterson, hyper-organized and focused on fiscal and event administration, as well as marketing, came on board earlier this year.
Ruth Hubbell, recently on the front desk, brings a ready smile and enthusiastic action.
I'm pleased to announce that Addison Moore will inaugurate our museum specialist position and try to fill Janet's winged shoes.
We're looking forward to an experienced Collections Manager joining us early next year, to round out our rejuvenated staffing.
A shout-out to Russ & Sylvia Bartley, Archivists extraordinaire, who have, this year, rejoined the Museum, after a seven-year drought of funding. We're glad to have them back.
And all the many volunteers, contractors, and supporters who have engaged and encouraged the Museum's renaissance. You are a testament to the importance of our work.
We've covered a lot of ground over the past several years. With baseline staffing being hired and the roofs fixed in the next year, we'll be able to begin to address the needs of our collections and the hopes of the communities we serve.
If you can't take the long view in a museum, where can you?
Many thanks to the Museum Board of Trustees/Board of Supervisors, and Carmel Angelo, CEO, for their significant and ongoing support. It is making all the difference.
Here's to the next 5 years!!!