April 23, 2024 – The 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 Spring Meeting on Tuesday, April 23 at Hamilton Hall in Salem. Remarks were heard from Salem Mayor Dominick Pangallo, Senator Joan Lovely, Representative Manny Cruz, and Hamilton Hall Board President, Michael Selbst. The Commission also announced and voted in its newly elected Commissioners and presented its 2024 Special Recognition Awardee.

New Commissioners Elected

Essex Heritage is governed by an 18-member Board of Trustees and supported by over 100 Commissioners who live and/or work within Essex County. These Essex Heritage Commissioners serve as representatives of community organizations, educational institutions, and historic, cultural, and natural resources of the region. “Our local Commissioners represent a variety of institutions across the Heritage Area and serve an important role as ambassadors and advocates for this region,” said CEO, Annie C. Harris. “Essex Heritage is grateful for the support of these new Commissioners as partners in promoting the unique assets of Essex County.”

The following individuals were elected to serve the Essex National Heritage Commission:

New Commissioners, 2024-2027

  • Michelle Guzman, Lynn Walking Shoe Tours, Community Organizer
  • Stacy Kilb, City of Salem
  • Kenann McKenzie-DeFranza, Gordon College & North Shore NAACP
  • Bruce McBrien, Lake Gardner Improvement Association
  • Kristina Stevick, History Alive, Inc.

Special Recognition Award

As leaders of heritage organizations and supporters of the Essex National Heritage Area, Essex Heritage honors those who have made a professional or personal commitment to the heritage work in this region and thanks them for their service.

The following individual is the 2024 Special Recognition Award Recipient:

Rebecca Curran Cutting, for her 35 years of dedication and service to the town of Marblehead – Rebecca Curran Cutting recently retired after 35 years of public service as the Town Planner in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Rebecca came to Marblehead in 1988 and quickly became a fixture, working closely with town officials, various boards and commissions, state departments, and local non-profit organizations to make a positive impact within the Essex National Heritage Area. Over the course of her career, she has led and supported countless projects, helping to bring this historic seaside town into the 21st century and positioning it for success well into the future. Her extensive knowledge, steadfast dedication, and positive attitude has made her an invaluable asset to the community, and her work extends far beyond the boundaries of Marblehead.