Kinderhook, New York
Business/Growth | Local culture | Local living
1 December 2015 11:17AM
Columbia County Historical Society


Kinderhook, NY –

The Columbia County Historical Society is pleased to announce a new Executive Director. Lori Yarotsky of Valatie and New York City has resumed the day-to-day management of CCHS in time to close out 2015, and will lead initiatives for the Historical Society’s 100th anniversary during 2016.

Ms. Yarotsky was appointed by the board of trustees after a three-month search following the vacancy of the position this past summer.

As Executive Director, Lori has overall responsibility for managing the organization. She intends to focus on the key aspects of development, membership-building, and the range of ways CCHS interacts with the public: provocative special exhibitions, scholarly publications, programming, research library, along with a new emphasis on engaging with our digital world. While Lori also has extensive experience with non-profit organizations on a pro bono and volunteer basis, her background in the for-profit sector will present a different profile – along with a keen awareness awareness of positioning to a 21st century audience – to CCHS.

“I am thrilled to join the Columbia County Historical Society as Executive Director in advance of our forthcoming year-long centennial celebration, and excited by the opportunity to present the rich and diverse properties and collections of the Society in dialogue to a contemporary audience,” said Yarotsky. “The Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse represents a literary symbol, along with the very special Luykas Van Alen House, also an unique vernacular legacy of New York’s earliest Dutch settlers; and the Vanderpoel House is an elegant example of early 19th century Federal style in upstate New York. Consolidated with the Society’s permanent collections and extensive regional research library, these historic properties help define the cultural DNA of Columbia County.”

Lori’s professional career has been in the for-profit fine art world holding positions as gallerist, educator, private advisor, auction specialist, and several related positions including a brief stint as global marketing director for the online startup, artnet auctions. Along the way she has regularly involved herself in non-profit organizations leading fund-raising efforts and organizing exhibitions, most-recently doing pro bono work with the Village of Valatie, the Valatie Free Library and the Valatie Economic Redevelopment Association.

As Executive Director of the CCHS, Lori will apply her experience in marketing and fundraising as well as her honed entrepreneurial attitude to meet the various challenges facing one of Columbia County’s principal cultural institutions. She is particularly excited by our 2016 Centennial anniversary activities, which will be designed to raise the public profile of CCHS in the region, drawing visitors throughout the county and beyond.

According to CCHS board president Jim Guidera, the 2016 exhibitions theme is ‘One Hundred Years of Collecting’. “How we execute this theme, what we choose among our extensive collection of paintings, decorative arts, furniture, printed material and artifacts has yet to be determined,” Guidera explained. “2016 is set to be a very special year for the Historical Society, as we embark on our second hundred years.”

Founded in 1916, the Columbia County Historical Society (CCHS) is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit institution committed to interpreting and preserving the history and culture of Columbia County, New York. CCHS owns and maintains the Columbia County Historical Society Museum and Research Library, as well as three historic properties: the National Historic Landmark Luykas Van Alen House (1737), the James Vanderpoel House (ca. 1820), and the Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse (ca. 1850).

In recent years, the Society has sustained a range of programs: the award-winning magazine Columbia County History & Heritage; recurring lecture series; annual field-trips for all county fourth-graders; and exhibitions in the museum galleries.


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