Executive Director Updates March 2019

Welcome to March…

With a really pleasant February, we have had a lot of exciting growth at the museum and I appreciate each of your support.

During the month we were very pleased to welcome home the museum’s 1951 vintage EMD E8a locomotive Southern 6901.  We’re very grateful for the extensive mechanical work that Norfolk Southern did during the nearly 4 years it was away.  For more details around the rehabilitation, please see Kristen’s interview with CMO Andrew Durden.

With the completion of the RTE building track in January, the train operations department began in February relocating cars into the new area.  In several cases this is purely a preventative measure in that we had cars that needed to be under cover to conserve their history.  By getting these cars out of the weather, we’ll be able to slow down deterioration until the cars can be scheduled for rehabilitation.

Elsewhere in both our Crossings newsletter and also the blogs we’re increasingly using on the website you’ll see updates on our HO scale model railroad, updates on our education programs, a volunteer spotlight featuring two of our fantastic volunteers, and many, many photos.  I’m glad you’re spending a few minutes catching up with us and I appreciate your time.

I’m thrilled as we start into March to report two events that I believe will lead to continued accelerating growth at the museum.   We have began negotiating with a consulting group to provide several services for the museum, among those are:

  • Help with updating our strategic plan
  • Board development to identify any skills gaps and help us to recruit/resolve those gaps.
  • Determining the feasibility and community support for the plan
  • Fundraising to execute the updated plan

In addition to bringing in a consultant, we’ve expanded volunteer staff to provide some dedicated resources in several areas:

  • Brian Philbin will be taking on finance/budget responsibilities
  • Sam Harris will be leading Boy Scout Eagle Project opportunities
  • Dr. Lorainne Linkhauer will be picking up grant research & grant writing.
  • Ruth Hummel has been writing for the newsletters for a month or so now and I have been remiss in not already recognizing her.
  • Randy Minter will be joining the leadership team and transitioning to take on the workload in managing our collection.

The two activities combined should provide additional resources, time & energy that will allow the museum to expand and upgrade exhibits, events, and activities.

In our Crossings newsletter you’ll see information about museum happenings, volunteers, training and  our upcoming events. We had over 120 entries in our photo contest this year.  I appreciate each of the entrants and I hope that it will encourage you to enter next year.  We’re still accepting registrations  (we’ve got 22 teams signed up at this point) for our Steak Cookoff event that’s coming up with Caboose Days . Following that event will be our annual Fast Track 5K . The Fast Track 5K committee reported this week that registrations for this year’s race are about 80% ahead of where we were at this time last year.

Thanks to your support and encouragement, it is shaping up to be a great year!  I hope you’ll come see us sometime soon and see the growth first hand.


About Randy Pirkle 54 Articles
Randy Pirkle is the museum's Executive Director Emeritus.

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