I’m writing to let you know that after almost 13 years as the Executive Director of the Cape Ann Museum, Ronda Faloon has announced her retirement plans. She will continue in her role as Director until May of 2019 and will work with the Museum’s Board of Directors to ensure a smooth transition.
Ronda has led the Museum through a time of meaningful change. When she accepted the director’s position, she spoke of making the Museum “matter” to the community every day. Under her leadership, the Museum has grown into a well-respected and vibrant cultural institution of which we can all be proud.
Perhaps the most visible accomplishment of her tenure was the completion of the transformational renovations in 2014. Less visible, but equally as important, Museum membership has grown and financial support has doubled. The quality and number of our exhibitions and programs have expanded over the years. We have a stronger collection: We’ve been the recipient of major gifts of art and other major gifts are on the horizon. Our two historic houses – the 1710 White Ellery House and 1804 Captain Elias Davis House – have been stabilized and improved. We’ve placed a high premium on scholarship, as evidenced by the development of the online catalogue raisonnéFitz Henry Lane Online and our recent symposium on Lane’s lithography. This past year, we welcomed close to 30,000 visitors – twice as many as were seen a decade ago. Our audiences are more engaged and we have a deeper and richer relationship with our surrounding communities.
I know that Ronda would want me to acknowledge the collaborative nature of these accomplishments. This could not have been done without her colleagues who tirelessly invest their innumerable talents and efforts toward advancing the Museum’s mission or the work of committed Board members and volunteers who offer guidance and wisdom, and who also “roll up their sleeves.” Nor could this have been done without those of you who have encouraged and inspired her, and generously supported the Museum each and every year.
While there is never a perfect time for a transition, the Museum has never been stronger or more prepared for change. We have a renewed commitment to our mission and recognize that there is power in being a small, intimate museum with a stellar collection and a singular story to tell.
We’re close to completing an update of our strategic plan (2018-2023) which will guide our initiatives over the next years and lead us toward the celebration of the Museum’s 150th anniversary and Gloucester’s 400th anniversary in 2023. This is indeed an exciting moment in the Museum’s history and an exciting time for new leadership.
Ronda and I are truly grateful to all of you who are committed to the growth and prosperity of our extraordinary museum.
With warm wishes for the new year,