NHA Gosnell Executive Director Resigns
NANTUCKET, MA – The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) has accepted the resignation of James P. Russell as the Gosnell Executive Director. Russell has been with the NHA since September 2017. He was responsible for many accomplishments, leading the organization through a period of significant growth and productivity. These accomplishments included making the NHA more accessible and relevant to the year-round community, completing a capital campaign to renovate historic properties, opening a fine arts gallery and decorative arts center, securing a loan-exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution and, most recently, affiliating with the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum.
The Board of the NHA has appointed Johanna Richard as the Interim Gosnell Executive Director. Richard is an extremely capable and respected Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer who has deep institutional knowledge and organizational understanding. The transition to her new role will be straightforward. Chip Carver, President of the NHA, stated, “James promoted and expanded the mission of the NHA during his tenure. Through partnerships on and off island, he successfully promoted the institution to the various communities of Nantucket.”
Russell decided to leave the NHA after a challenging year created by the COVID-19 pandemic, but at a time when the programs and exhibitions for the summer season are set, thus allowing for a smooth transition to Richard’s interim leadership. Russell stated, “The unique stressors brought on by the pandemic accelerated our family plans to leave the island. I am proud of the work that the staff and I accomplished, and am particularly gratified with how we bravely navigated through the pandemic. I know I am leaving the NHA in a much better place and wish my colleagues every success.”
The NHA ended 2020 in a strong financial position and is poised for the upcoming summer season. “The backbone of the NHA is the staff who has taken the organization through an extraordinary time in the past 12 months. The hard work, dedication, and pride of the NHA team has been inspiring to watch. It is our intention that the NHA will put on a full program of activities this season,” stated Carver. The NHA Board will focus on finding a new Gosnell Executive Director over the next several months.
The NHA’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.