STRAWBERY BANKE MUSEUM

Year-Round Staff
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, to view the Strawbery Banke organizational chart (PDF)

Lawrence Yerdon
President & CEO
603.433.1103
lyerdon[at]sbmuseum.org

Lawrence Yerdon joined Strawbery Banke in 2004 after serving as president of Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts and has directed the creation of the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond, the expansion of the TYCO Visitors Center and the Heritage House Program that brought residents back to the campus while completing the restoration of several underutilized, historic museum buildings. In 2018, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Museum Association (where he served as President and is still active), 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. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in history, and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

Rachel Novack
Assistant to the President
603.433.1104
rnovack@sbmuseum.org

Rachel Novack joined Strawbery Banke in the summer of 2021 as the Development Department Virtual Marketing Intern. Promoted to Administrative Assistant to the President at the end of summer 2021, she provides comprehensive administrative support to the President as well operational support for a variety of museum programs and events. Rachel obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Art History from Boston University in 2020.


Human Resources

Laura Towne
Director of Human Resources, Volunteers, & Interns
603.792.0825
ltowne[at]sbmuseum.org

Laura Towne joins Strawbery Banke in December of 2021 as the Director of Human Resources. She previously served in many roles at Big Brothers Big Sisters of NH including in operations and donor engagement. In 2019 she graduated from Boston College with a Masters in Social Work with a macro focus, and in May of 2022, she will graduate from UNH’s Paul College with an MBA. In her free time, Laura can be found getting crafty at Board and Brush in Portsmouth, reading, or going for walks in the woods or along the water.


Finance

Sharon Martel
Director of Finance
603.422.7518
smartel[at]sbmuseum.org

Sharon Martel joined Strawbery Banke in May of 2022. She brings to the museum 11 years of nonprofit administration and financial management experience, as well as 18 years of experience working for the largest law firms in Maine & NH. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Southern NH University and a Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College. When not buried in spreadsheets, Sharon enjoys reading, paddling her kayak to spot loons, hiking, skiing, and chilling in her backyard with the birds and other wildlife.

Jennifer McCann
Finance Manager
603.422.7516
jmccann[at]sbmuseum.org

Jennifer McCann joins Strawbery Banke with over seven years of experience in non-profit administrative and financial management. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University and a Certificate in HR Management from the University of New Hampshire. When not at work, Jennifer enjoys hiking with her family (human and furry), researching her ancestry, and working in her ever-expanding flower gardens.



Facilities

Rodney Rowland
Director of Facilities and Environmental Sustainability
603.422.7525
rrowland[at]sbmuseum.org

Rodney Rowland 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).  

Bryan Cuddihee
Maintenance & Event Operations Manager
bcuddihee[at]sbmuseum.org 

Dan Smith
Restoration Assistant
dsmith[at]sbmuseum.org 

Chris Higgins
Custodial & Security Coordinator
chiggins[at]sbmuseum.org 

Matt Kochka
Manager of Landscape Horticulture 
mkochka[at]sbmuseum.org 

Matt Kochka 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. 

Harrison Paradis-Collins
Landscape Horticulturist
hparadiscollins[at]sbmuseum.org

Harrison Paradis-Collins joined Strawbery Banke in September 2021. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems and worked previously as an undergrad research assistant in the UNH cucurbit breeding program. Most recently, Harrison worked at Prescott Park conducting landscape maintenance and garden design.

Andrew Towne
Landscape Horticulturist
atowne[at]sbmuseum.org

Andrew Towne joined Strawbery Banke in the spring of 2018 as an interpreter and role player, later expanding his roles to work as a site manager and contract researcher. After being promoted to the full time staff in and Landscape Horticulturalist in September of 2022, Andrew works to maintain and improve the gardens, paths, fences, and greenways of the museum. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Art History for Plymouth State University, alongside five cumulative years of work experience in landscaping and commercial farming.


Education & Visitor Services

Bekki Coppola
Director of Education
603.422.7541
bcoppola[at]sbmuseum.org

Bekki Coppola 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 an 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. 

Jonathan Brown
Director of Visitor Services 
603.433.1100
jbrown[at]sbmuseum.org

Jonathan Brown 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 of supervising the daily program, budgeting, attendance reporting, site management, and daily operations. He has served on the board of the preservationist Portsmouth Advocates and the Portsmouth Historical Society.

Sarah Regan
Member and Visitor Services Associate
603.241.1644
sregan[at]sbmuseum.org

Sarah Regan joined Strawbery Banke in the spring of 2005 as a museum teacher and interpreter, later expanding her roles to work as a visitor services associate and site manager. After being promoted to Member and Visitor Services Associate in December 2021, Sarah works as an invaluable member of the Development and Visitor Services Departments and assists with membership and donation processing and online ticketing. She has a BA in Classics with a minor in Art history from the University of New Hampshire. She enjoys being creative with fabric and basket weaving at the museum and other crafts at home.

Bethany Allen
Education Coordinator
603.422.7545
bhallen[at]sbmuseum.org

Katie Raynes
Roleplaying Coordinator
603.422.7545
kraynes[at]sbmuseum.org

Katie Raynes joined Strawbery Banke in 2016 as a roleplayer and interpreter. Since then, she has also worked as a site manager, museum teacher, hearth cook, weaver, and in program development. After being promoted to Roleplaying Coordinator in 2021, she is now responsible for the training and enrichment of adult roleplayers, the Junior Roleplayer program, summer roleplaying camps, and the maintenance of the museum’s costume collection. Katie has a BA in English with a minor in history and an MA in English Literature from the University of New Hampshire. She has published several best-selling novels in LGBTQA+ fiction.

 


Marketing & Communications

Veronica Lester
Director of Marketing
603.766.2496
vlester[at]sbmuseum.org

Veronica Lester joined Strawbery Banke Museum in 2018 and combines her expertise in digital and social media marketing, branding, content writing, and creation with her interest in local history. Veronica obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Saint Anselm College and began her career at UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc. in the role of Director of Marketing & Development, where she spearheaded the organizational re-branding process.


Development

Joe April
Director of Development
603.422.7551
japril[at]sbmuseum.org

Joe April 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. 

Alex Cave
Museum Events Manager
603.828.2979
acave[at]sbmuseum.org

Alex Cave first became involved with Strawbery Banke in 2014, when she participated in the Archaeological Field School. In 2021, she joined the year-round staff and Development Department as Museum Events Manager and combines her experience in project management, problem-solving, and event planning with her passion for making history and museums accessible to everyone. Alex obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Archaeology from the University of Maryland and delivered the Baccalaureate Address at the 2019 Department Commencement. Most recently, Alex worked as Development Associate at the Museum L-A in Lewiston, Maine.

Megan McNutt
Membership and Donor Stewardship Manager
603.422.7508
mmcnutt[at]sbmuseum.org

Sarah Regan
Member and Visitor Services Associate
603.241.1644
sregan[at]sbmuseum.org

Sarah Regan joined Strawbery Banke in the spring of 2005 as a museum teacher and interpreter, later expanding her roles to work as a visitor services associate and site manager. After being promoted to Member and Visitor Services Associate in December 2021, Sarah works as an invaluable member of the Development and Visitor Services Departments and assists with membership and donation processing and online ticketing. She has a BA in Classics with a minor in Art history from the University of New Hampshire. She enjoys being creative with fabric and basket weaving at the museum and other crafts at home.

Martha Carlson-Bradley
Grant and Foundation Relations Manager
603.433.1109
mcarlsonbradley[at]sbmuseum.org 

Martha Carlson-Bradley 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". 

Wendy McCoole
Corporate & Community Engagement Manager
603.422.7552
wmccoole[at]sbmuseum.org

Wendy McCoole joined Strawbery Banke in 2017 bringing with her 12 years of experience planning and coordinating dozens of fundraising events as the founder and director of 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 various software companies in Nashua, NH. 

Bethany Porter
Event Rental Manager
bporter[at]sbmuseum.org
603.422.7502

Bethany joined Strawbery Banke in the spring of 2021. As Event Rental Manager, Bethany combines her previous experience in marketing and event management with her interest in American history. She manages inquiries from people all over the country looking to get married in the Museum's beautiful gardens or host an event in one of our many on-site locations. When not at the Museum, she is putting her Communications and PR degree to good use by working with other local businesses…or simply cheering on the Red Sox and spoiling her nieces.


Collections

Elizabeth Farish
Chief Curator
603.422.7526
efarish[at]sbmuseum.org

Elizabeth Farish 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. 

Alexandra Martin
Archaeologist
603.422.7521
amartin[at]sbmuseum.org

Alexandra Martin 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 a Faculty Fellow with the University of New Hampshire Anthropology Department.