During an all-staff meeting that took place on Oct. 15, 2018 at the Buena Vista Conference Center in New Castle, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs reviewed several successes that it had achieved in recent months and honored its staff and volunteers who have helped the agency in its efforts to preserve Delaware’s historical legacy.
Division director Tim Slavin began the program by presenting staff service-awards to Greg Buchman of the Preservation-Maintenance Team for five years of service; Deputy Historic Preservation Officer Gwen Davis and Melvin Mitchell of the Preservation-Maintenance Team for 25 years; Brian Cannon and Cindy Snyder of the New Castle Court House Museum for 20 years and 25 years respectively; and Faye Stocum of the State Historic Preservation Office for 45 years.
Slavin then congratulated Scott Hayes for his promotion from Physical Plant Maintenance Mechanic Level II to Level III, and welcomed several new employees who had joined the division staff in recent months including social-media manager Emmitt Best; Laura Coderre of Buena Vista; Chris Conley and Keith Sands of the Preservation Maintenance Team; Abigail Davis and Fran Mahon of the Zwaanendael Museum; and Sharon Trotman at the division’s main office in Dover. Slavin also took time to welcome two new division volunteers who were in attendance at the meeting—Debbie Bain and Ted Mason—and to honor Bev Laing of the State Historic Preservation Office who will be retiring in December 2018 after 28 years of service.
Following the congratulations, Slavin passed the baton to Beth Gott, lead historic-site interpreter at the Zwaanendael Museum, who presented an Extra Mile Award to museum site-interpreters Kaitlyn Dykes and Tom Pulmano who have been conducting extensive outreach activities at local-area festivals, and for the student programs that they are presenting at the museum.
Division team leaders then came forward to discuss recent improvements that have taken place at Buena Vista including comments by division planner Lynn Riley who discussed Phase III capital improvements at the site; Desiree May, Buena Vista site supervisor, who discussed opportunities for increased rentals of the property’s pole shed; and Horticulture Team manager Betsy Gant who discussed the replacement of several trees that had blown down at the site after a storm.
Slavin brought the morning’s activities to a close with a discussion of the division’s new collections facility that is currently in the process of being built at a site west of Dover. The 35,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will eventually house the multi-million-item collection of historical materials owned by the State of Delaware including museum objects, archaeological artifacts, works of art, and library and archival materials.
Noting that the new facility will allow the division to store all of the state’s collections under one roof for the first time, Slavin thanked Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock and Deputy Secretary of State Courtney Stewart for their continued support for the project. If all goes according to plan, the facility will be certified for occupancy by Aug. 31, 2019 with the transfer of all the collections materials completed by Dec. 31, 2019.