Society Reorganizes

Society Reorganizes:

We Welcome Roberta J. Ryan as New Executive Director  

A rather large contingency of members from the Society’s Board of Directors met recently as an executive search committee to choose a new Executive Director. The size of the committee demonstrated our Board’s commitment to finding just the right person to fill this important role. Our Executive Director is the only employee who reports directly to our Board. All other staff and volunteers report to the Executive Director or someone designated by him/her. The executive search committee’s vote was unanimous in choosing Roberta “Bobbie” Ryan. 

Bobbie was born and has lived in Indiana County all of her life. She and her husband, Ed, have two children, Molly and Eddie. Coming to her position with excellent personal and professional references, Bobbie has held positions at the Indiana County Courthouse and local financial institutions. Her demonstrated business skills were what made her most attractive, along with her ability to work so well with others. She has managed to help many of us feel very comfortable in the board’s choice by her confidence and commitment to getting started.

In the process of reorganizing the operations of our busy County Historical Society, we have also added two other part-time positions. As the Society’s operations, exhibits and work areas have grown to occupy the entire armory and old Clark House, the busier we have become. With almost forty volunteers to supervise, student tours and the day-to-day traffic into our Museum and Library, it is certainly the time to expand the number of staff members to keep the Society moving forward. 

These staffers not only provide the administrative support required of our non-profit, but assist our Executive Director with many of the important tasks we tackle on a regular basis. Clerissa Connelly will serve as Curator of our Museum, a role that was originally part of the Executive Director’s job description. Because of the backlog of collections waiting for cataloging, funding this position will move things along. 

Clerissa is committed to better organizing the collections to best preserve the precious artifacts entrusted into our care. She will work closely with our Museum Chairwoman, Mary Yanity, pulling items as Mary builds exhibits and then returning them to their safe storage areas when exhibits come down. The collections are vast, the storage areas not always ideal, and so we welcome Clerissa’s knowledge and skills–particularly her organizational skills and her ability to work so well with others. 

Dusty (DJ) Hendrickson has also joined our team as a very competent Assistant to the Director. DJ has already become very popular by her helpfulness and numerous skills. She does everything from staffing the desk and assisting researchers in the library to fielding correspondence and helping the Executive Director assign volunteer tasks. This is a demanding job and DJ has proven herself extremely capable of handling all that the position entails.

We hope for more correspondence with our members. Stop in or send word to encourage and welcome our new staff members. Join our volunteers and board members in offering them our best support to make this transition period as successful as possible.