After almost a decade of working at Dallas Heritage Village, I was named Executive Director in March 2014. Of course, writing it like that makes it all look very easy. Though my primary focus was always education, my duties had increased over the years. In Fall 2012, my predecessor said to me “How about you take over as ED in 2 or 3 years?” And we began to prepare–my responsibilities increased, I began interacting with the board more, and I headed to a three week professional development sponsored by AASLH, Developing History Leaders @SHA I did everything I could imagine to prepare. But really, there’s nothing that can truly prepare you for leading an organization.
Over the course of the last 18 months or so, Dallas Heritage Village has faced unprecedented opportunities and challenges. I’m learning how to be a leader, build relationships with the community, and still keep doing what I really love–connecting people to the past. At a certain point, in the midst of pondering some of these very big issues, I started feeling a need to write out my thoughts. And then I started wondering if perhaps others might find all of this of interest.
As I told friends at a party celebrating my appointment, I never said “I want to be the Executive Director of Dallas Heritage Village.” Part of me knew that I wanted to be an Executive Director some day, but perhaps at a slightly smaller, less complex organization. And certainly not at the age of 34. And yet, here I am. Won’t you join me on this adventure?