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December 17, 2010

Sheryl Kingery Mays Named Director of Public Programs and Operations for Historic Jamestowne

Sheryl Kingery Mays has been named director of public programs and operations at Historic Jamestowne for Preservation Virginia. Her responsibilities include developing and overseeing public programming and supervising day-to-day operations such as retail, food and beverage operations, maintenance and grounds staff, volunteers and the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium. She also will act as a liaison to the National Park Service, Jamestown Settlement (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation), other organizations and the wider community.

“I am delighted to have someone of Sheryl’s experience on the team,” said Jim Horn, Colonial Williamsburg’s vice president of research and historical interpretation and the Abby and George O’Neill Director of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library. “I look forward to working with her to enhance family-friendly programs and Historic Jamestowne and to create a broader more cohesive guest experience through this new initiative.”

Mays brings more than 20 years of experience to the position and has worked previously as education coordinator at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va., and as director of interpretation and public programs at Poplar Forest in Forest, Va. Mays also served as director of education at the Children’s Museum of Maine in Portland and, most recently, as curator of education for historic preservation and museum services in Henrico County, Va.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with minor in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s of education with a museum studies emphasis from the College of William and Mary.

In September, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Preservation Virginia announced a new initiative to showcase the connected histories of Jamestown and Williamsburg through compelling stories of discovery, diversity and democracy. Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service, and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. Its mission is directly consistent with and supportive of Article XI of the Constitution of Virginia to protect the historical sites and buildings in the Commonwealth benefiting both the Commonwealth and the nation. Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence and services to the public and special audiences by saving, managing, and protecting historic places, and developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies with individuals, organizations, and local, state, and national partners.

Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Visitors share the moment of discovery with archaeologists and witness archaeology-in-action at the 1607 James Fort excavation April-October; learn about the Jamestown Rediscovery excavation at the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, the site's archaeology museum; tour the original 17th-century church tower and reconstructed 17th-century Jamestown Memorial Church; and take a walking tour with a Park Ranger through the New Towne area along the scenic James River. For further information, visit or call (757) 229-0412 or (757) 229-1733.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121