Huguenot Changes Leadership

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Mackey.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Mackey.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Mackey.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Mackey.

Last month, SUNY New Paltz alumnus Rebecca Mackey was appointed to  the new position of Director of Operations at Historic Huguenot Street after spending three months as the interim executive director.

She has been with Huguenot Street on and off since 2008 and returned full-time in August of 2011.  In her new role, she is responsible for the administrative and logistical side of operations.  She is also in charge of infrastructure, historical properties, preservation of resources, human resources and overseeing large-scale sight projects.

“I’ve been with Huguenot Street on and off for some time now, so it’s good to be in a position where I feel I can help move the organization forward,” Mackey said.

According to a press release from Historic Huguenot Street, the Board of Directors decided to create this position to deal with the “increased importance of attention to organizational administration and meet the challenges of preserving buildings and collections that date to the 1600s.”

Taylor Stoermer, director of strategy, development and historic interpretation said since Historic Huguenot Street is looking to become a more active and engaging place, Mackey is the perfect person for this role because of her skill in running the daily operations of an organization.

Before serving time as the interim executive director, Mackey was the director of visitor services, programs, tours and visitor services manager, director of visitor services at Historic Huguenot Street.

Now in her new role, she said she expects there to be many changes at Huguenot Street in the next three to five years by trying new things that will help the organization grow.

Mackey said she wants to continue the relationship Huguenot Street has with SUNY New Paltz.  Currently, students get to tour for free and there are students who have and are currently interning at Huguenot Street.

Stoermer said Mackey’s best traits are that she has a great analytical mind and that she is extremely level-headed.

“She is really able to get at the heart of a issue and find out what really matters about it,” Stoermer said. “She can really reduce what otherwise might be a complicated question into its most important part. That kind of skill, being able to focus on the important things, on an otherwise complicated issue is worth its wait in gold.”

Stoermer said one of the great things about Rebecca is that what’s good for her is what’s good for Huguenot Street.  He also said dealing with the challenges and responsibilities she faces, along with maintaining the historic homes and transforming the entire site into a place that is more friendly for visitors to visit is something that can help transform this area.

“It [Transforming Huguenot Street] is something that will change the lives of the people at the organization and make a big difference for the people who visit it,” Stoermer said.

Looking forward, Mackey said there will be changes with tours. There will be more first-person types of stories inside the houses, the exhibitions will be highlighted more, there will be a new exhibit this year and there will put a new orientation exhibit put in at the orientation site.