HeritageAspen searches for direction | AspenTimes.com

HeritageAspen searches for direction

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

HeritageAspen has decided to head into the future without an executive director.

At least for a while.

The historical society held a board meeting Wednesday and decided to thank its interim director, Liz Atkins, for her three weeks of work. The board then chose to delay looking for a new director.

Earlier this month, the board decided that its former executive director, Grace Gary, should be asked to resign. Atkins was appointed interim director.

Atkins was hopeful that her stint at the historical organization would run for some time, but it didn’t.

“Interim executive director Elizabeth Atkins has done an excellent job of easing the transition in leadership from former organization’s head, Grace Gary’s departure in early August, to a period of restructuring the group’s administration,” the organization said in a press release.

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“Atkins has fulfilled the board’s goals of assessing the needs of HeritageAspen and has made recommendations for future direction.”

In other changes at the organization, Ron Silensky has stepped down as the president of the board, and Brian Wilson has taken the top position. Board member Guy Alciatore will serve as treasurer.

Wilson said the board is going to wait to hire a new executive director until it has a better handle on what its future holds.

“We don’t know what kind of director we need,” said Wilson. “These are different types of directors and different types of salaries. We have to make sure who we want before we hire someone and what our goals are. We are still going to get a director, we just want to nail it down a little better.”

Gary had a great deal of experience managing historical sites and was paid close to $80,000.

Silensky said at the time of Gary’s departure that the next director would be from the local community.

HeritageAspen runs the Wheeler/Stallard Museum in the West End, the Ashcroft and Independence ghost towns, the Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum and has been working for years to develop a ski museum at the old Lift One at the base of Aspen Mountain.

[Brent Gardner-Smith’s e-mail address is bgs@aspentimes.com]