This month I will be leaving Preservation Dallas to start a new chapter in my career as the Executive Director of the Texas Historical Foundation. This is an exciting opportunity for me to work across the state to help preserve our rich Texas history, whether that be buildings, artifacts, documents, or archaeological sites. Since 1990, the Texas Historical Foundation has awarded over $2,000,000 in grants to help nonprofit organizations with their work to preserve Texas history.
Since I arrived at Preservation Dallas nearly ten years ago, I have been able to grow professionally and personally. The best part has been meeting and working with so many great people that have such a deep passion for preserving the historic places of Dallas. Together, we have fought tirelessly to save as many of our historic places as possible, and that is no easy task in such a development focused city like Dallas.
I am proud of our many accomplishments during my time at Preservation Dallas, which were only possible due to the hard work and dedication of staff, board members, partner organizations, and of course you – our members. I had big shoes to fill when I came to Preservation Dallas after the stellar work of very strong Executive Directors including Catherine Horsey, Dwayne Jones, and Katherine Seale. I have worked diligently to follow in their footsteps and leave behind a legacy for the organization and a foundation for the next person to build upon.
In my time at Preservation Dallas, we took on many difficult issues such as responding to the wanton destruction of historic buildings in downtown in 2014, working to get the DART D2 line underground to avoid impacts to historic buildings, assisting with saving the Blue House from demolition, and working with the Aldredge House to get their necessary approval to operate as a house museum. And that doesn’t count the state and federal advocacy efforts for preservation, advocating for the places on our Endangered lists, and attending the many, many public meetings to speak up for preservation.
I have also been a part of many wonderful projects and programs such as the Pegasus Urban Trails mobile app, the 2015 architectural styles exhibit and booklet, the web site revamp, the Downtown and Deep Ellum Historic Resources Survey, our 50th anniversary celebration, booklet and film, along with our many great tours and educational programs. In my time here, I have greatly enjoyed presenting to numerous groups across the city about the work of Preservation Dallas and why we should preserve the historic places that make Dallas special.
I am also pleased that our hard work and dedication as an organization was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with the Trustee’s Award for Organizational Excellence in 2020. That was an incredible honor for Preservation Dallas to have been selected and a testament to us as an organization and our many preservation successes over several decades in a city where many don’t think preservation is important.
I will miss working with everyone on a daily basis; however, I will still get to see everyone as I will be remaining in Dallas since the Texas Historical Foundation has chosen to relocate their headquarters here. I will still be involved with Preservation Dallas, just in a different capacity, and will still be at the many wonderful Preservation Dallas events in the future.
I have complete confidence that Preservation Dallas will continue to move forward and in new directions with the support of our many wonderful members, sponsors, and donors. Jennifer, Donovan, and the Board are well equipped to continue the work of Preservation Dallas during the search for the next Executive Director. I wish Preservation Dallas only the best for the future and I know they can continue to build upon the great work of so many in the past 50 years.