Fenton Board Elects Officers

The Fenton History Center has a new board president.

On Wednesday, Fenton officials held their annual business meeting, where they elected new officers and trustees. The new officers include Richard Lundquist, president; Tom Greer, vice president; and Connee Brown, secretary. Joni Blackman, Fenton History Center director, said every three years officers are elected.

“We needed all new officers, and now we have a whole new slate,” she said.

The election of trustees included Brown, to her second year of her first term; Guy Ditonto and High Golden, who both will be serving the first year of their first term.

Blackman said she gave her financial and directors report to the board. She discussed future goals and the support she has received from the staff and volunteers during the past year.

“Everyone has done such a tremendous job with the expansion work we have been doing,” she said. “The volunteers have stepped up to keep the research facility open. Without them, it wouldn’t be open. Everyone does a good job.”

Financially, Blackman said her goal is building the endowment fund, especially for the Hall House Research Center. She said Mat Hagberg and his sisters contributed the initial funds to create the facility. Another financial goal is to build reserves, or a savings account, for the Fenton to alleviate cash flow problems.

“There is a lot of great stuff going on. We have a new phone system, an upgrade to the security system at the Hall House and now we’re working on reorganizing the layout of the first floor of the mansion where the gift shop is to make it easier for tourists,” she said. “We’re doing an orientation exhibit, which will tell people about us and why we are here.”

Blackman said turning the Fenton History Center into a tourist destination is one of the main goals for this year. She said there will be more interactive hands-on programs.

“We want to be something interesting to see if you come to town. You don’t have to know about Jamestown history. You don’t have to love history,” she said. “You might just be interested in the building, which is a big hook. There are people who are just fascinated with the architecture of the mansion.”