Jeffrey Nichols is moving on to Virginia! This from Twain House…
“Gregory Boyko, President of the Board of Trustees of The Mark Twain House & Museum, announced today that Jeffrey L. Nichols will resign his position as Executive Director of the museum to take the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s plantation retreat near Lynchburg, Virginia.
“The board and staff of the museum are deeply sorry to see Jeff go,” Boyko said. “His tenure has been a memorable one here – leading the museum out of a severe financial challenge and initiating a marketing strategy that has brought attendance to record levels two years in a row. He has been a respected and admired manager, winning the museum the Hartford Courant/Fox CT Top Workplaces Award. But we understand that the Poplar Forest position is a significant career move for Jeff, and wish him all the luck in this exciting new endeavor.”
Nichols added: “I will always cherish my time at The Mark Twain House & Museum. It’s been an honor to lead the museum over the past five years, and I know that the future is very bright for the organization. I can’t thank the board, our donors, and the wonderful staff of the museum enough for their hard work and dedication to the organization. I will miss everyone in Hartford, but I’m also thrilled to begin the next chapter in my career.”
Poplar Forest Board Chair Madeline Miller said the choice was made following an extensive nine-month national search. Nichols succeeds longtime President and CEO Lynn Beebe, who announced her retirement last year.
“It was his understanding of how to successfully lead an historic property during challenging economic times that impressed us,” Miller said. “Jeff’s approach to strategic growth and development will serve us well as Jefferson’s Poplar Forest expands its presence on the regional and national stage as a historic property destination and a center for education and research on an important period in the life of Thomas Jefferson and the nation.”
During Nichols’ tenure as Executive Director, The Mark Twain House & Museum has not only achieved record attendance figures and been named a Top Workplace, but also has balanced its budget over the past four years; greatly increased the number of museum events, mounted important exhibits, instituted a community writing program and new programs for local students, and offered an important experience for visitors from every state in the Union and dozens of foreign countries.
Boyko said the Mark Twain House & Museum Board of Trustees has formed a Search Committee to begin the process of finding an Executive Director. The position of Interim Director will be filled by Patti Philippon, who is Beatrice Fox Auerbach Chief Curator of the museum.
The 577-acre Poplar Forest, run by the nonprofit Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, is a National Historic Landmark recently added to the United States nominations list to become a World Heritage Site.”