Veteran volunteer to guide Sandy Spring Museum -- Gazette.Net


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A veteran volunteer with the Sandy Spring Museum will serve as its interim director while the board conducts a national search for a permanent director.

Cathy A. Case takes over for Sharon Ann (Shan) Holt, who after serving as the museum’s executive director for the past three years, resigned last month to become executive director of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Holt’s salary in 2010 was $61,200, according to IRS documents.

Case, 61, has been involved with the museum for several years, including serving as a volunteer coordinator, as the marketer and project director of the Strawberry Festival and as editor of the newsletter.

The museum, established in the early 1980s to preserve some of Montgomery County’s heritage in the face of rapid development, had more than $250,000 in revenue in 2010, according to the IRS.

As an independent marketing consultant, Case has more than 25 years of experience in business development, nonprofit community leadership, strategic planning, branding and creative development, sales team management, merchandising operations and contract negotiation.

“I’ve always really liked the museum, and its mission to bring the history of this area to life,” she said. “It’s important for people who have lived here for many years, as well as those who have recently moved in to understand and learn from the past in order to move forward.”

Case said she plans to use her marketing background to bring people to the museum.

As a senior executive for The Rouse Company, she directed the strategic marketing management and planning for shopping centers and tourist destinations such as Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, South Street Seaport in New York, Riverwalk in New Orleans, Bayside Marketplace in Miami, Harborplace in Baltimore and Arizona Center in Phoenix.

“To get more people into the museum, we need to get our message out louder, bigger, and better,” she said.

Case said she is fortunate to have the support of a board of directors that is excited, committed and engaged.

Board President Kathryn Althage expects no major changes during the next three to six months, with operations and events continuing as planned.

“Shan laid a great foundation, so we will just keep up with the priorities of the museum, which are maintaining exhibits, the archives, educational programming and special events,” she said. “We continue to be excited about what we are offering at the museum.”

Althage said the board is assembling a search committee, which will include community members, to permanently fill the position. The museum likely will host meetings for its members during the next few months, so board members can solicit ideas about what the museum does well and what it could do better.

“Things are different here without Shan, because she was fabulous,” Case said. “I just want to keep things moving, as I continue to learn every minute of every day.”

thogan@gazette.net