MONTEREY, Mass. — After twelve years as President of the Bidwell House Museum Board of Directors, Rob Hoogs, finished his final term on Saturday May 21 and was honored by the Board of Directors for his service.
Hoogs worked with former Director Martha Dailey on a land history and mapping project in 2007 and then joined the Board of Directors in 2008. He was elected President in 2010. During his tenure he has guided the Museum through a Capital Campaign; a multi-year renovation and preservation project that included a new roof and an accessible entrance; the creation of the Native American Interpretive Trail on the grounds; an expansion in Museum programming online and into the off-season; and the completion of a Conservation Restriction on 180 acres of the property in 2021.
In addition, he has donated hundreds of hours of his time working with various Board committees and along with his wife Cindy, has spent many hours working in the gardens and on the grounds.
To thank Hoogs for all he has done for the Bidwell House Museum, the Board made the decision to name the newly renovated Carriage Barn in his honor and presented him with a plaque on May 21. A number of Board members and staff shared how important Hoogs has been to the Museum's success over the last decade.
"The Bidwell House Museum has been so lucky to have Hoogs, and the successes of the last few years are due in large part to his incredible stewardship of this place," Executive Director Heather Kowalski said.
Hoogs plans to stay on the Board and continue working on programming and outdoor projects at the Museum.
"It has been my great pleasure and honor to have served the Bidwell House Museum for the past 14 years on the Board of Directors, twelve of which have been as President," Hoogs said. "We have such a wonderful Board who serve as ambassadors, stewards, and volunteers of this gem of a museum. Together, we have accomplished a lot, including preservation and restoration of the house and outbuildings, making the house accessible to people with mobility issues, greatly expanding the programming both in person and on-line, expanding the interpretive and hiking trail network to about six miles, and creating the Native American Interpretive Trail in collaboration with the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. I look forward to working with Diane Austin as she leads the museum forward.
Diane M. Austin was elected as the new Board President at the May 21 Annual meeting. Diane spent 25 years as the Vice-President of Student Affairs at Lasell College in Newton before retiring in 2019. She joined the Bidwell House Museum Board of Directors in 2017 and has been active in planning programs and fundraisers. A part-time resident of the Berkshires for almost 40 years, Diane has said that she is "looking forward to this opportunity to learn even more about the history of the region, and to working with the dedicated staff and Board members of the Museum."
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