Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Development Committee Meets, New Trustees to be Named, Rotary Clubs to Sail on Friendship, Salem State Close to University Status


Essex Heritage Development Committee Holds Organizational Meeting

Late last week, Charlie Cullen the new Chairman of the Essex Heritage Development Committee met with members of the leadership team to set the agenda for the initial Development Committee meeting to be held later this month. Preliminary goals for the committee were established and plans to develop a list of companies in the region where appointments will be made were discussed. The expectation that as the new fiscal year begins for the Commission that the timing to reach out to regional commercial interests seeking financial support for the mission of Essex Heritage seems to be right. The Committee when it meets later in July will be expected to develop a list of about two-dozen local companies and to identify primary contact people at those organizations. After that initial step is accomplished the Commission will attempt to establish appointments at the companies to where the mission of Essex Heritage will be outlined and financial support to enhance the work of ENHC will be sought. The mission of Essex Heritage has long been focused on the continued improvement of the quality of life in the region. Our work on projects like the Scenic Byway and the Border to Boston rail trail enhancements all contribute to the quality of the life in the region where we all live and work. Those regional improvements have certainly made it easier for companies in the area to attract qualified employees. The Commission welcomes any opportunities to visit a local company to speak about our work, and if anyone has an interest in learning more please contact me or Mary Williamson our Director of development and communications at 978 740 0444 or by e-mail at maryw@essexheritage.org.

Essex Heritage Will Add New Trustees in the Fall

Over the last couple of days, several discussions have taken place among the leadership of Essex Heritage that focused on the addition of several new members of the Board of Trustees. As a result of new job assignments and transfers, we have received two resignations from two Board Trustees, and two additional members of the Board will complete their terms of office this fall and will move up to Trustee Emeritus status. All four of these individuals who have done so much for Essex Heritage and the region and their services will certainly be missed. Essex Heritage will now have to replace these talented people from our wonderful pool of Commissioners. The choices for these positions have been made and will now be advanced to the Executive Committee and the full Board of Trustees for their approval and at that time we will make the names of the replacements public. We feel that it is critically important to continues to keep the region informed of the makeup of the Board of Trustees as this hard working group is your representatives from the region and helps manage the mission of Essex Heritage and works with management to decide focus and future direction for Essex Heritage.

Local Rotary Clubs to Participate in Friendship Inaugural Sail

Over the 2010 Labor Day weekend the National Park Service replica sailing ship Friendship will celebrate its recent Coast Guard certification with an inaugural sail to Gloucester. The sail that has been in the planning stage for a couple of months will move the Friendship from its permanent berth at the Salem Maritime Historic Site to the Coast Guard Station in Gloucester. On the second day of this excursion the Friendship will take passengers out into the harbor to witness the famous Gloucester schooner races. This weekend will be the first time the Friendship will carry paying passengers. Essex Heritage is acting as an agent for the National Park Service and is helping to organize this event, and after the expenses of the trip are covered, the balance of the funds raised will go towards the support of Essex Heritage programs like the Partnership Grant program, the Scenic Byway and the Border to Boston Rail Trail initiative.

Essex Heritage is working with a number of local Rotary Clubs, managed by the Salem Rotary Club to fill the first day sail on September 4, 2010 from Salem to Gloucester with members of local area Rotary Clubs as a regional fellowship event. Bill Kielbasa is advancing this idea as the recently elected President of the Salem Rotary Club. Bill has provided information about the event to regional Rotary Club officials from Saugus to Cape Ann with the expectation that the 45 available spots on this first ever sail will be filled by local Rotarians enjoying a day of fellowship and participating in a historic event. In addition to the opportunity to enjoy the company of the others on the sail, the group will be divided into three working groups and will help sail the ship under the direction of three watch leaders. Lunch and refreshments will also be served along with a running commentary on the maritime history of the region offered by National Park Service professionals during the five-hour sail to Gloucester. Salem Rotary President Kielbasa has made community participation one of the hallmarks of his Rotary club year and this event meets that goal quite well. Tickets that are priced at $250.000 each and are available on line for this wonderful event at the Essex Heritage web site at http://essexheritage.org/friendship/index.shtml or interested parties can contact Mary Williamson at 878 740 0444 or at maryw@essexheritage.org.

Essex Heritage is also now taking orders for the second day event on September 5, 2010 to view the Schooner Races in Gloucester Harbor, and those tickets can be obtained for that event using the same instructions as outlined above. We expect that these tickets will be sold quickly and we urge any interested parties to contact Essex Heritage to purchase tickets for this historic event.

Salem State Moves Closer to University Status

Late last week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives overwhelming voted to pass legislation that would change the designation of State College in Salem to a University. The proposed legislation is the latest effort in a long string of attempts to accomplish this goal. All that now remains is a positive vote by the Massachusetts Senate and then a signature by the Governor. The College and the region would be substantially improved if the change takes place. The legislation is revenue neutral as there is no financial ramifications if the change is enacted, and it is clear that the current students, past graduates and the vitality of this region would all benefit from the approval. College President Patricia Me survey recently sent an electronic appeal to al Salem State Alumni seeing their support and urging them to contact their Senator to seek support. Nothing as important as this action is ever done until all the T’s are crossed and all the I’s dotted, but it does appear that this long awaited action seems to be imminent. We certainly hope so, and have long been a strong and vocal advocate for the change in status.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at www.essexheritage.org. We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thank You. Tom Leonard

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