Essex Heritage April 20, 2012

Annual Spring Meeting at Merrimack College.

Essex Heritage Conducts Annual Spring Meeting at Merrimack College

True to its normal tradition, Essex Heritage conducted its spring meeting at a location that allowed our Commissioners and friends of ENHC to attend a meeting at a location not usually available for visits to the general public.  Thanks to the generosity of Merrimack College the spring ENHC meeting was held at Cascia Hall on the college campus and we were welcomed to the North Andover campus by College President Christopher Hopey.  President Hopey provided all in attendance with information on the growth and expectations in the future for Merrimack College.  We were pleased with the college’s participation, and look forward to working with them in the future as our programs match their needs.

From our perspective, it was wonderful that the meeting could be held in the northern section of the Essex Heritage area.   The participation was extraordinary and it was a great opportunity to hold a meeting in an area where many friends from the northern section of the region could join us as participants.

Essex Heritage was gratified that Congressman John F. Tierney was able to join our meeting and to offer remarks on the work of the Commission and our youth employment program.  Essex Heritage is split between the representation of two congressional districts and in addition to Congressman Tierney, Ms. June Black a senior representative of Congresswoman Tsongas was also present and was an active participant in the meeting.

The meeting was presided over by ENHC President Rich Yagjian and several local elected officials from local communities in the region we serve were in attendance, were introduced and participated in the activities.

John Meserve, President of Merrimack Savings Bank presented the current financial information and an Audit Report for 2011.   All of the material was approved.

The Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Sumner Jones of Eastern Bank presented a list of nominees that represent various communities in the region and they were all elected unanimously to a three-year term as Commissioners.

President Yagjian  who presided over the meeting then provided all in attendance with a list of the financial supporters of Essex Heritage and thanked the many local community companies for their continuing support.   That support is much appreciated

President Yagjian continued by outlining several ENHC programs including personal Membership initiatives, Photo safari’s, the annual photo contest and the Heritage Hero fundraising event in early May.      The last two programs are sponsored and supported by Hunts Photo and Video in Malden, where Mr.Yagjian serves as COO.

The President also reported on several planned ENHC events and urged the attendance of the meeting participants.   There will be several events planned over the weeks ahead, and additional information about how to participate in area lectures, and celebrations can be obtained by visiting the Essex Heritage web site at www.essexheritage.org.

At that point at the meeting, Executive Director, Annie Harris took over the podium and provided the annual spring awards to participants from the region, as is the Commission’s usual practice.  

Ms Harris spent several moments providing information on active ENHC programs including the scenic byway, bike and recreational programs in the southern part of the region and a new 50 mile program proposed along the banks of the Merrimack River.    Ms. Harris reported on her numerous efforts to impact pending legislation that would impact and improve the mission of Essex Hertitage   and other Heritage area’s across the country.     She also reported on several upcoming regional events like the 11thannual Trails and Sails event. Two Weekends of walks and water on September 21-23 and 28-30 2012.   In addition to the long standing sponsors, TD Bank and Eastern Bank, this year REI has joined the sponsorship team and will be offering bike awards for participation.  Please review information on the annual event atwww.essexheritage.org

The  Director also reported on festivals scheduled for Lawrence to commemorate the anniversary of the Bread and Roses centennial and North Andover Poetry presentations and a presentation in Danvers related to the Endicott Pear Tree sponsored by Danvers Historical Society and the North Shore Medical Center/Massachusetts Hospital. 

The meeting ended with a presentation by the Superintendent of the two National Parks in Essex County.  The National Park Service is the senior partner of Essex Heritage in this region.  He recounted the work, with the help of Essex Heritage, being accomplished with area youth. The summer work program has been enhanced by a contribution from the TD Bank Foundation that has allowed Essex Heritage and the National Park Service to expand the hiring process.    It was also announced by the NPS that they have named long time Friendship staffer Jeremy Bumagin has been named the first ever official skipper of the FRIENDSHIP.

Thomas M. Leonard is President Emeritus of the Essex National Heritage Commission, Inc., the nonprofit management entity of the Essex National Heritage Area, and can be reached at tleonard@essexheritage.org or can be followed at www.essexhappenings.blogspot.com or danvers.patch.com

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