Director's Note: Salutations and Valedictions
It is essential for any institution to seek out and welcome talented new colleagues. Different perspectives and fresh ideas help to assure the ongoing vitality of a museum.
Beyond our commitment to the preservation and study of objects from the past (and present), George Eastman House must ever strive to improve engagement with our communities—to offer compelling exhibitions, programs, scholarship, and online content—in a world where so much else is competing for people’s time, attention, and resources. To assure sustainability and strategic progress, we must strengthen relations with current donors and develop relationships with others who value and will support our missions.
I am thrilled to welcome three new leaders—Katie Riley, Laura Sadowski, and Lisa Ann Seischab—to our advancement and engagement efforts (see page 8). I am confident that these accomplished professionals will play a transformative role at our institution.
They bring years of relevant experience from other well-respected organizations. All are open minded and share a voracious curiosity about art, culture, and new fields of knowledge. Finally, they are skilled at collaborative problem-solving and committed to continual progress.
As we welcome our new colleagues, we bid farewell to two longtime staff members who retired in early April. I take this opportunity to thank these professionals who had a particularly positive impact on our relationship with individuals who care about our museum, its collections, and its mission.
Joseph Struble served as an archivist and collection manager in our photography department for more than 25 years. He was entrusted with our world-class collection of photographic objects. Joe hosted curators, scholars, students, photographers, and aficionados from around the world. He has an extraordinary knowledge of our collection and a knack for identifying and presenting objects that would be especially relevant or delightful to each visitor. When traveling, I not infrequently have been asked how Joe is doing and thanked for his expert hospitality.
Susan Yovanoff joined our staff as Manager of Individual Giving in 2007. Susan truly cares about each and every one of our members—and it showed. A consummate professional, she informed us of her retirement plans well over a year in advance. I have been deeply grateful that, just months before her retirement, Susan accepted the additional responsibility of acting director of our development department while we conducted our search for the new leadership team. She provided invaluable direction in the interim.
Both Joe and Susan are in good health. We wish them a satisfying retirement and hope that they will remain involved at George Eastman House in roles that suit their new life of leisure mixed with continual discovery.
Bruce Barnes, Ph.D.
Ron and Donna Fielding Director
May/June 2015 Bulletin