Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Executive Director of Mount Hope Farm

Janet Zwolinski is named new Executive Director of Mount Hope Farm

One thing is for sure. Change is a constant at Mount Hope Farm.

Do you remember the March 2010 Bristol Phoenix front page expose by Scott Pickering that read: “Mount Hope Farm in Turmoil. Farm struggling to pay bills; Trustee ousted; Long time leader resigning”? Well things have changed in a short 9 months.

This week, after a long vetting process, a new Executive Director was chosen from 52 applicants. Billy Whitty, acting Board President, announced that Janet Zwolinski of Barrington is that person.

Ms. Zwolinski is a native Rhode Islander. She received her undergraduate degree in Historic Preservation from RWU and is a candidate for a Master degree in Public Policy from Brown University. Most recently she served as Acting Director of Development for the Herreshoff Marine Museum. She also served as the Executive Director of Preserve Rhode Island for five years and of the Preservation Society of Pawtucket for two years. Her focus has recently been on advocacy, fundraising and development for Rhode Island PBS Foundation, Roger Williams University and local non-profits.

John Day, who headed the Executive Director Search Committee, said “We received and carefully reviewed over fifty resumes for the position. A lot of very talented individuals were interested in contributing to Mount Hope Farm and in the end the Committee was faced with some difficult choices. We strongly believe that Janet’s background and skills are what is needed to guide Mount Hope Farm through the continuing period of transition that began last spring”. He continued “Many positive developments have taken place in the past six months including significant revision of the By-laws, the recruitment of new members to serve on the Board of Trustees, changes in the operations of the B&B and the event facility and the opening up of the Farm to community. With a strategic plan in the process of being developed, it is now time for the organization to move to the next level and Janet is the right person to provide the leadership to move us to sustainability that is consistent with the basic mission of Mount Hope Farm. We hope all aspects of the community will join us in welcoming Janet to her new position.”

Ms. Zwolinski said “Mount Hope Farm is at an exciting juncture in its existence. I know my background, qualifications and enthusiasm can and will contribute to the future success of the Farm”.

Since last May, Michael Gerhardt of Warren has been serving as Interim Executive Director and will be leaving sometime before Christmas. Given a short period of transition working with Mr. Gerhardt, Ms. Zwolinski will begin work on Monday, December 13.

Welcome Janet Zwolinski to Bristol and to Mount Hope Farm!

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