STRAWBERY BANKE MUSEUM

STRAWBERY BANKE MUSEUM SENIOR STAFF

NOTE: Email format is [FirstInitialLastName] 'at' SBMuseum 'dot' org

Mailing address:

Strawbery Banke Museum
PO Box 300
Portsmouth NH 03802

 

Lawrence Yerdon, President and CEO, earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in history, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has been active professionally serving as President of the New England Museum Association, on the Council of the American Association for State and Local History and as a grant reviewer for the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for Humanities & the Pew Charitable Trust. Currently, He is a member of the board of the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce. 603-433-1103

Jessica Crowley, Assistant to the President & HR Administrator, joined Strawbery Banke in April 2017. She is responsible for the operational administration and Human Resources initiatives of the museum. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Mount Holyoke College, and her Master’s in Higher Education Administration from Boston College.  Jessica is a Certified Leadership/Career Coach, and brings a background in architecture, interior design and higher education, most recently at Merrimack College and Northeastern University, to the museum.  She is a member of the Seacoast HR Association (SHRA), and active on SHRA’s Workforce Readiness/College Relations Committee, working to improve economic and workforce development initiatives in the seacoast area.  603-433-1104

Sarah Terenzio, Director of Finance, 603-422-7518

Diane Parisien, Accounting Assistant, 603-422-7516

Rodney Rowland, Director of Special Projects and Facilities, volunteered for Strawbery Banke first in 1976. He is currently responsible for the historic properties on the site, overseeing the properties and restoration department and is project manager for various projects.  After graduating from Lake Forest College with a B.A. in history, Rodney interned with the museum, then joined the museum staff in 1990, as curatorial assistant working with the Curator on new exhibits and processing the decorative arts collection.  He later became Collections Manager and was lead objects conservator for the 1943 Little Corner Store project.  In 2004, Rodney was promoted to manage the construction of the TYCO Visitors Center (2005) and the Carter Collections Center (2008).  603-422-7525

Joe April, Director of Development, joined Strawbery Banke in December 2017 and is responsible for managing the Membership, Corporate Relations and Grant team. Prior to joining the museum, Joe was a Partner with Convergent NonProfit Solutions in Atlanta, serving as a strategic member of the leadership team responsible for creating the Community College Division of the firm. Handling oversight of all sales, marketing, branding, outreach and communications for the Division, he supervised five project directors in implementing major gift campaigns, feasibility studies, alumni and foundation strategic plans. Previously, he was a founding member and Executive Vice President and Partner with The Armistead Group in Lexington, KY,  with a national focus on community college institutional advancement programs, applying several decades of direct experience with Springfield Technical and Community College, BayPath College, MassBay Community College and Holyoke Community College to the firm. Prior to that he developed and implemented comprehensive annual and planned giving programs for continuing care communities.. 603-422-7551

Megan McNutt, Director of Membership and Annual Fund, 603-422-7508

Monique Deforge, Director of Corporate Relations, 603-422-7552

Martha Carlson-Bradley, Grant Writer, joined Strawbery Banke in 2018 and combines her extensive experience in grant writing for nonprofits with her passions for creative writing and history. Martha earned her PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. She began her career in nonprofit work at the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, where she wrote grants, coordinated member services, served on the programming committee, and directed the Project’s publications. As a creative arts fellow at the American Antiquarian Society, Martha researched the 1727 edition of the New-England Primer, which influenced her most recent collection of poems, Begin with Trouble. 603-433-1109

Elizabeth Farish, Chief Curator joined Strawbery Banke in 2011 with extensive knowledge of Portsmouth history and the collections of the four National Historic Landmark houses of the Synergy Group, Portsmouth Historic Houses Association and Historic New England properties (which she served as Regional Site Manager for New Hampshire and Maine) to her role. She returns to Portsmouth after completing her graduate degree in Historic Preservation. 603-422-7526

Alexandra Martin, Archaeologist, 603-422-7521, joined Strawbery Banke's Collections Department in 2012. She is responsible for managing the museum's collection of archaeological artifacts and related research.  Alix also directs the museum's annual archaeological field school.  She is an alumna of Mount Holyoke College and received her MA and PhD in Anthropology and Historical Archaeology from The College of William and Mary.  Alix is also currently an Associate Postdoctoral Research Associate with the University of New Hampshire Anthropology Department.

Erik Wochholz, Curator of Historic Landscapes, joined Strawbery Banke in 2012, as historical horticulturist. While earning his B.A. in philosophy with a focus on environmental ethics from the University of NH, he participated in UNH's five-week EcoQuest program in New Zealand, working on an organic farm. Returning to UNH for his second BA, he furthered his skills at the UNH Woodman and Kingman Horticultural Research farms and interned with the Sustainability Institute. He then spent five years in commercial floriculture. 603-433-1108

Matt Kochka, Horticulturist, brings more than 15 years of experience in agriculture to the gardens here at Strawbery Banke Museum. He has managed farms in Boston and Maine,  advised gardeners and farmers locally and nationally, and recently earned his M.S. in Plant Science at UNH in 2016 for his work on a novel strawberry production system and strawberry pests. He loves working with volunteers and teaching people the joys of science-based gardening. 603-433-1108

Jonathan Brown, Director of Visitor Services joined Strawbery Banke in 1995 after graduating from Plymouth State University with a BA in history. Starting as Volunteer Coordinator, Jon was promoted to Marketing Assistant, Admissions Manager, Group Tour Coordinator, Assistant Store Manager, Reception Supervisor, and Development Associate before assuming his current responsibility supervising the daily program and special event programming, budgeting, attendance reporting, site management and daily operations. He has served on the board of the preservationist Portsmouth Advocates and the Portsmouth Historical Society. 603-433-1110

Bekki Coppola, Director of Education, joined Strawbery Banke in 2001 as an interpreter/museum teacher. Promoted to Education Program Coordinator in 2002 she is responsible for the development and implementation of school, youth and family programs and welcomes 10,000 schoolchildren to the museum each year. From 2000 to 2001 she was historic guide and museum teacher at Orchard House, home of the Alcotts in Concord MA. Prior, she was an intern and museum teacher at The Norlands Living History Center in Livermore ME interpreting daily 19th-century life in rural Maine. She received her BA in history from Gettysburg College in 1998 and a Master of Arts in Museum Education from Tufts University.  603-422-7541

Bethany Allen, Manager of Education and Interns

Stephanie Seacord, Director of Marketing joined Strawbery Banke in 2011 with more than 35 years of consumer, business and trade experience, specializing in travel, tourism and hospitality. From 2004 to 2009, Stephanie provided PR Counsel to the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism, earning over $25 million in publicity and reaching 622 million readers for state tourism. She won the 2009 New Hampshire Travel Council Advertising/PR Agency of the Year Award. 603-433-1102

Veronica Lester, Campaign and Marketing Assistant, 603-766-2496

Alena Shellenbean, Manager of Special Events and Volunteers, joined Strawbery Banke in 2012 as a Costumed Roleplayer, Hearth Cook, and Museum Teacher; then was promoted in October of 2013 to Manager of Special Events and Volunteers. After graduating from Smith College with a BA in American Studies (during which time she spent her summers at Strawbery Banke), Alena ran away to join the Renaissance Faire. Starting in 2002 she stage-managed various history-themed festivals including the Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, and Florida Renaissance Festivals and numerous small community fundraisers and events. From 2002 to 2008 she filled many roles including performer, dramaturge, stage manager, education director, producer, costumer, and anything else that needed to be done. In among all the history-themed entertainment, Alena honed her office and database skills, first at the Worcester Jewish Community Center starting in 2006, and the Alumni Office of Colby-Sawyer College starting in 2009. Currently, Alena manages Strawbery Banke’s volunteer program of more than 400 volunteers and oversees signature events including American Celebration at July 4th, Ghosts on the Banke, and Candlelight Stroll. 603-422-7504

Wendy McCoole, Site Rental Manager, brings 12 years’ experience planning and coordinating dozens of fund-raising events for My Breast Cancer Support, an independent NH non-profit organization that provides support to local breast cancer patients. Prior to that she was the owner of Under the Sun Creative Marketing Solutions in Portsmouth, NH and worked in media and marketing for eCopy, Inc., CUSeeMeNetworks, Inc. and KeyFile, Inc., all in Nashua NH. She served as Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Dover from 1992 to 1994. 603-422-7502

NOTE: Email format is [FirstInitialLastName] 'at' SBMuseum 'dot' org