October 23, 2014 (Salem, MA)Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage), a non-profit that manages and provides numerous programs preserving and enhancing Essex County’s historic, natural and cultural places, welcomed business and community leaders from around Essex County to its Annual Fall Meeting on Thursday, October 23 at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield. The business portion of the session focused on the importance of sustaining the region through youth engagement, partnership projects and regional awareness. The Commission also elected new Commissioners, announced executive officers and new members of its board of trustees, and presented the recipients of the 2014 Essex Heritage Pioneer in Partnership Awards.

New Commissioners appointed

Essex Heritage is supported by a 150-member Board of Commissioners who live and/or work within Essex County and who serve as representatives of the communities, businesses, community organizations, educational institutions and historic, cultural and natural resources of the region.  “Members of the Commission are ambassadors and advocates for this region,” said CEO Annie C. Harris, “Essex Heritage is pleased to welcome the slate of new Commissioners and Trustees, and we’re grateful for their support and leadership in promoting regional cooperation in Essex County.”

The following eight individuals were elected to serve on the Essex National Heritage Commission for three-year terms:

Five new Essex Heritage Trustees begin three-year terms:

Three Trustees Emeriti recognized and thanked for their service to the board, organization and region:    

Executive Officers:  The following Essex National Heritage Commission Officers were announced as previously elected by the Board of Trustees for 2014-2015:

Pioneer in Partnership Awards

Each year, Essex Heritage presents its Pioneer in Partnership awards to individuals and organizations who exemplify the commission’s spirit of collaboration.  The award recognizes those who build partnerships and celebrate the nationally significant places that form the Essex National Heritage Area.

2014 Pioneer in Partnership Awards were presented to:

  1. Gloucester Writers Center: in recognition of their leadership and commitment to excellence supporting the craft of writing. Through it programs, the Gloucester Writers Center has helped people from all walks of life enhance their writing and communication skills.  In doing so the Center plays an important role in sustaining Cape Ann’s legacy as a special place that inspires writers to work at writing.
  2. Friends of Lynn Woods: in recognition of their leadership and commitment to excellence protecting, maintaining and enhancing the natural and primeval qualities of Lynn Woods, one of the most significant publicly accessible natural places in eastern Massachusetts. 
  3. General Israel Putnam Chapter of the DAR: in recognition of their leadership and commitment to excellence perpetuating the memory of those who achieved American independence, including the preservation of the circa 1670 Judge Samuel Holten House in Danvers – a site associated with the 1692 Salem witchcraft hysteria and the birth of our country.
  4. Mayor Donna Holaday of Newburyport: in recognition of her leadership and commitment to promoting Newburyport’s nationally significant cultural heritage.  Since her election in 2009, Mayor Donna Holaday has worked tirelessly to ensure that the city’s historic, cultural and natural assets contribute to local pride and the regional economy. 
  5. James MacDougall of Topsfield: in recognition of his leadership and longtime stewardship of the region’s natural heritage.  A lifelong resident of Essex County, Jim is a committed environmentalist and recognized expert in the region’s unique ecology and extraordinary natural history.