By almost any measure, 2016 was a dramatic year for the Bosco-Milligan Foundation and our beloved Architectural Heritage Center. We lost two long-time pillars of our staff, Cathy Galbraith and Phillip Austin, to retirement, and another, Barbara Pierce, to an unanticipated move to the East Coast.
The best possible news is that we filled all three vacancies with outstanding people – Stephanie Whitlock, our new executive director; Nanette Thrush, in charge of public relations; and Samantha (Sam) Freeman, administrative assistant. We also filled the year with our usual outstanding schedule of education programs, walking tours and the ever-popular Home Revival tour. For the fourth year in a row, our Heritage Auction provided a healthy six-figure boost to our revenue as well as a fun evening for our enthusiastic preservation supporters.
On the advocacy front, we spent many meetings and hours wrestling with proposed city policies that at worst could speed the pace of residential demolitions and seriously damage our notable street-car era neighborhoods – or at best provide reasonable new housing opportunities without eroding our neighborhood scale and heritage. At year’s end, we still don’t know the results of these efforts – and neither does the City Council. We must continue to be vigilant in 2017 when two new faces will sit on the five-member council.
Looking ahead, 2017 brings some exciting new possibilities as Stephanie Whitlock begins to implement some of her ideas aimed at making us a stronger and more visible preservation organization. You can expect to see our usual excellent education programs and tours. You can also expect to see the staff and board of directors put new emphasis on ways to manage, house and exhibit our amazing collection of artifacts. You likely will see opportunities for members to engage in new, exciting special events that focus on our region’s excellent architectural history.
The new year also will bring some leadership changes on the board of directors, and some of our 21 volunteer directors will take on new committee assignments. You can be assured that these changes are timely, well-planned and intended to help the Bosco-Milligan Foundation thrive in our new era of revitalized energy and leadership.
I wish all our members the best for 2017, and hope you will join me in the exciting adventures that await us.