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March 8, 2002

Historic Area appoints permanent directors

As part of the Historic Area reorganization in late 2000, new director positions were filled on an “acting” basis until a new administrative officer—Rex Ellis, vice president for the Historic Area—was hired and had the opportunity to conduct a formal search.

“While it has taken some time, I am happy to announce that we have completed this process,” Ellis said. “All of the acting directors have been chosen to fill the permanent positions. This is a testament to their strengths, abilities, performance and commitment.”

The permanent directors are:

  • Barney Barnes, as director of historic events, is responsible for the “Days in History” programs, annual events and the Fife & Drum Corps. Barnes has been with the foundation since 1979 where he began in the research department. Since 1983, he has managed various elements of Historic Area program development and presentation, demonstrating the creativity and skills required for this position. He has a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a master’s in history from William & Mary.
  • Mark Howell, director of program development, is responsible for the overall development, coordination and quality of interpretive programming. He began his Colonial Williamsburg career at the King’s Arms Tavern in 1977. Howell moved into the training and program development arena in 1986, developing his talents and qualifications to lead this critical effort. He holds a bachelor’s degree from William & Mary and a master’s degree in American studies from the same institution.
  • Pam Pettengell, as director of support operations, will continue in her role overseeing Historic Area operations, providing administrative support to all aspects of the Historic Area. She also will continue to manage the Costume Design Center, Historic Area scheduling and payroll, and Museum Studies. Pettengell started at Colonial Williamsburg as a ticket seller in 1975. Her varied career responsibilities have included interpreter, site management and program management which support her successful attainment of this position. Pettengell has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Florida.
  • Diane Schwarz continues with her responsibilities as director of historic sites to ensure the effective and efficient operations of the exhibition sites, monitoring programming and preservation of Colonial Williamsburg’s valuable assets. Schwarz began her career at Colonial Williamsburg in 1984 as an interpreter. Since 1988, in a succession of management roles in the Historic Area Division, she has contributed to its success and to her ability to perform this most important role. Schwarz holds a bachelor’s degree from Mary Washington College and a master’s degree in museum education from William & Mary.

    Ellis plans to fill two more director positions, Historic Trades and Training, by May 2002.

    “That will complete the leadership team of the Historic Area and will allow us to move forward and take the Historic Area to the next level,” Ellis said.

    Media Contact:
    Lorraine C. Brooks
    (757) 220-7280

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