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  • Linnea Grim announced as next president and CEO of Strawbery Banke Museum

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    Linnea Grim announced as the next President and CEO of Strawbery Banke Museum

    PORTSMOUTH—Strawbery Banke Museum announced Jan. 11 that the Board of Trustees has appointed Linnea Grim as president and CEO, Thomas W. Haas Endowed Chair. Grim currently serves as vice president of guest experiences for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, a private nonprofit that owns and operates Monticello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. She takes over on March 6, succeeding Lawrence J. Yerdon, who is retiring after 18 years in the position.

    “I am truly honored to be the next leader of Strawbery Banke Museum, following Lawrence J. Yerdon's remarkable tenure,” said Grim, incoming president and CEO. “The Board of Trustees and the staff have already impressed me with their commitment to bringing more than 300 years of history to life in the Puddle Dock neighborhood and being a vibrant part of the Portsmouth community. I can't imagine a more exciting time to join the team than during the city's 400th anniversary.”

    Grim has 23 years of experience working in leadership positions at nationally relevant historic sites, history organizations, and in the Office of the Curator at the Supreme Court of the United States. She spent the last 16 years at Monticello serving as Hunter J. Smith Director of Education & Visitor Programs and Manager of Interpretive Programs prior to joining Monticello’s executive team in 2021. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from The College of William & Mary, and a Master’s degree in history museum studies from The Cooperstown Graduate Program.


    “I’m delighted to announce Linnea Grim as my successor and am confident in her capabilities to lead Strawbery Banke, said Lawrence J. Yerdon, outgoing president and CEO. “Linnea’s substantial experience at prestigious institutions will be invaluable in moving the Museum forward into its next chapter and continuing to engage visitors in innovative and exciting ways with local history in the Puddle Dock neighborhood.”


    A search committee, chaired by Cynthia Fenneman, chair of the Board of Trustees and CEO of American Public Television, worked with Scott Stevens of Museum Search & Reference (MS&R) of Londonderry, who led the nationwide search. Marilyn Hoffman is principal of the firm.


    In addition to Fenneman, search committee members included two former Museum Board chairs, Jeff Gilbert, current Board secretary and managing director, W.J.P. Development, LLC; and Martha Fuller Clark, current trustee, recently retired state senator and historic preservation activist; current trustees Matt McFarland, vice chair of Board and principal & portfolio manager, R.M. Davis; Kathy Kane, treasurer of the Board and president and founder for The Maestro Fund; Joanna Kelley, current trustee and Portsmouth assistant mayor and Cup of Joe Cafe & Bar owner; and Jane Nylander, former director of Strawbery Banke Museum and president emerita of Historic New England, previously known as the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (SPNEA).


    “The search process was extensive,” said Fenneman. “With MS&R’s expertise, Strawbery Banke received resumes from experienced and accomplished museum professionals from across the United States.”


    “While there were many wonderful candidates, it became clear that Linnea’s background and skillset would make her the candidate Strawbery Banke would select as its next president and CEO,” continued Fenneman. “Her proven success in organizational leadership, change management, innovative and diverse revenue streams, and lasting partnerships are the qualities the leader of Strawbery Banke must embody to help achieve its mission that values both individual stories and the power of community. It is clear that Linnea is fully dedicated to maintaining the excellent community relationships that Larry, the staff, and the Board of Trustees have formed.”


    “Strawbery Banke is a gem,” said Grim. “The generations of preservation, interpretation, and community engagement work have national significance, as does the Museum’s role as a leader in historic preservation in the face of sea-level rise, a topic which will only increase with urgency. I look forward to building on Larry’s transformational work and meaningfully sharing Strawbery Banke's assets with more diverse audiences while ensuring sufficient resources to support the organization’s complicated preservation needs.”


    For more information about Strawbery Banke Museum, visit StrawberyBanke.org.


    About Strawbery Banke Museum:

    Strawbery Banke Museum, in the heart of downtown Portsmouth, is a 10-acre history museum interpreting over 300 years of history, from Indigenous history to the present day, through historical houses on their original foundations, heirloom gardens, traditional crafts, and costumed roleplayers who share the stories of the families who lived in the authentic waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock.

    The Museum welcomes visitors, members, schoolchildren, and volunteers for daily programs, exhibits, skating, and signature special events throughout the year. Strawbery Banke Museum is funded in part by grants from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts & National Endowment for the Arts; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom; and the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. For more information and a complete calendar of events, please visit StrawberyBanke.org.