Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Travel Opportunity, 9/11 Anniversary, Trails and Sails Nears, Essex Heritage Annual Meeting Set, Essex Heritage History


Essex Heritage “Teams Up” With Collette Vacations to Offer Tour Plans

In An exciting new venture, Essex Heritage has joined forces with Collette Tours to present a Northern National Park Tour featuring Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons in August 2011. Open to the general public, this spectacular yet affordable eight day tour advances several strategic objectives for Essex Heritage. It advances our goal to connect people to our nation’s most spectacular places and strengthens our partnerships with the business community and creates an opportunity to generate incremental revenues to help fund our mission-critical programs. This collaboration with Collette Vacations is one way for Essex Heritage to sponsor authentic experiences that connect people to special places and at the same time enhance revenue potential. For more information on this opportunity or to obtain a brochure contact Mary Williamson at 978 740 0444 or at www.essexheritage.org.

Essex Heritage Trails and Sails Getting Closer

This week the staff at Essex Heritage is putting the final touches on a wonderful plan to show off this region in all of its fall beauty. Starting this upcoming weekend and then again next weekend, the signature event of the year for this organization will be presented. Just as a reminder, it is not too late to sign up and make plans to participate. There will be over 100 free events across the region over the next two weekends. Join the thousands of residents who have visited the Essex Heritage web site at www.essexheritage,org in the recent past to make your plans. It is not too late to see this region and enjoy all it has to offer.

Essex Heritage Annual Meeting

For those of you interested in getting dates onto your calendar, the Essex Heritage Annual Meeting this year will be held on October 26, 2010. We are most appreciative that the local organization that is managing the restoration of the Carriage House at Lynch Park in Beverly has made this site available to us for our meeting. The Carriage House at Lynch Park had great historic significance to this region and we are proud to be able to showcase the site and the work already done to improve the site.

Anniversary of September 11th

It certainly was a relief to see that the Anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center and the proposed radical action by a Florida pastor passed without incident. A planned burning of the Koran could have set off a series of consequences that could have had a most negative impact on relationships between nations and religious groups.

9/11 Service in Danvers

I attended a service in Danvers that morning that was much more in tune with the way that horrific event should be remembered. Danvers restaurateur, Kary Andrinopoulos who co-owns and runs Brother’s in the Danvers downtown for the third or fourth consecutive year hosted a remembrance service at his establishment. Each year the event that Kary started to keep the event at the top of mind in this region grows larger and larger. The event brings together many patrons of the popular restaurant in Danvers and regional elected officials to pause for a moment that morning to remember to the events of that horrible day. Gathered that morning on a bright sunny morning outside of Brother’s were Congressman John Tierney, Sheriff Frank Cousins, State Representative Ted Speliotis, Selectman Dan Bennett who all offered somber recollections of the event nearly a decade ago. The service opened with a prayer from a priest from St. Vasilios in Peabody and continued with the posting of the colors by an honor guard headed by Bruce Eaton from the Danvers American legion and the VFW. Stirring renditions of taps and America the Beautiful were provided by musical groups, and an Aunt of Karen Martin, the lead flight attendant on American Flight # 11, from Danvers who was killed that fateful morning presented a moving tribute to her niece and presented Kary with a framed remembrance for the restaurant. The service ended with the many who were gathered enjoying the generosity of Brothers as breakfast was offered to the many in attendance. Kary should be commended for his wonderful efforts to keep this event in our consciousness as time passes. This is the first time that I was privileged to be in attendance but it will not be the last.

September Weekend

This is always a most pleasant time of the year for me as fall arrives. This past weekend was no exception, as on Saturday, I was able to view some high school football as St John’s prep opened their season with a win over long time rival Peabody, Then on Sunday, on a near perfect day for football, I was able to enjoy a younger, faster clearly more athletic New England Patriots team post a win in their first game of a new season that now holds a little more promise going forward. But all that said, the highlight of the week was watching my grand daughter Katherine Leonard take a couple of shifts for the Danvers High School varsity field hockey team against Beverly. Danvers lost the game, and I found that I have much to learn about this sport. But as time goes on maybe I will begin to understand some of the nuances of this popular woman’s sport.

Essex Heritage History, Part Seven (Continued)

In November 2004 it became clear that the landlord who had purchased the Washington Street space from the Shetland Properties Company wanted the space for other purposes. There was an explosion of new residential condominiums being built in Salem, and there was an indication that the new landlord wanted us to vacate the space. We looked then, and continue to look for space that the ENHC can own, but finally settled on rental space in the old Eastern Bank facility on the pedestrian mall in Salem. We have been in that space since 2004 and remain in that location in 2010.

In the last several years, the Commission continues to expand its role in the region. We have added staff to the effort and in 2010, Annie Harris remains the Executive Director, and I serve now as President Emeritus. Annie Harris is the glue that holds all of this effort together, provides a high level of local leadership as well as providing a connection to the other Heritage Areas across the country. Nationally, a coalition of Heritage Areas has been established and that Alliance meets quarterly to plot a national strategy for the heritage areas across the country. That Alliance has recently created a Legislative Caucus and the two congresspersons from this region signed on to joint that effort as soon as it was established. Annie and Susan Lippman that now serve as our CFO has played important roles in the development of a manageable national organization.

My title was changed as after three full terms as President, I felt that it was wise to step down as the active President to put a succession plan in place to insure continuity. Towards that end since I stepped up to the new role, the Commission has elected three active volunteer Presidents. The first was Larry Harrington from North Shore Bank in Danvers and Peabody, followed by Nancy Stager from Eastern Bank and at present Kevin Tierney the President of Saugus Bank serves in that position. Nancy and Kevin have been very “hands on” and during 2009 and 2010 led the Commission through a long-range planning process that will serve the Commission well for the next five years.

During this period of the Commission’s life we have been most fortunate to have a wonderful group of Trustees who have continued to serve with great enthusiasm. When the management structure was established we developed a plan that there would be term limits in place for Trustees of three terms of three years each and over the years we have been blessed with a continuing stream of great volunteers. One of my primary jobs has been to keep the Trustees current and to continue to find Essex County leaders who would be willing to serve. I am most gratified by the support that we have received since our inception. I cannot remember a single individual that we ever asked to serve who have declined our invitation. The depth of the cadre of people who have served this effort is incredible and speaks volumes about the willingness of the leadership of this region to volunteer and serve. I will not attempt in this history to enumerate all of the men and women, who have served Essex Heritage, but suffice it to say that several members of the original group of twenty-five Trustees have fulfilled their term of office and have stayed connected to the Commission by serving as Trustee Emeritus. That position has been created to allow those Trustees who wish to stay connected after their terms end to stay involved. The current group of Trustees remains strong and committed and we have been most fortunate to continue to attract great volunteers from across the entire region we serve for this role. For a complete list of all who have served on the Essex Heritage Board see the web site at
www.essexheritage.org for a complete list of Trustees since our inception.

ENHC History to be continued in the next Essex Happenings BLOG posting

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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