(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The Hancock Shaker Village Board of Trustees announced today that it has retained the National Executive Service Corps (NESC) of New York City to conduct a search for a permanent executive director for the museum. “We chose the NESC for the depth of its experience and for its understanding of the special challenges facing smaller, nonprofit organizations,” said Board Chair Ron Walter.
The new Hancock Shaker Village executive director will succeed Dr. Peter Hansen, who served as interim director from March 2011, when Ellen Spear departed the organization, through November 2011. Walter noted, “Peter Hansen has been an eloquent spokesman for the Village. His business skills have served the museum well in a challenging environment.”
By resolution, the board extended their “most sincere appreciation for the leadership and contributions to the Hancock Shaker Village provided by Peter Hansen during his services as interim Executive Director. Peter’s many talents and commitment proved invaluable in transitioning the Village towards its goals of financial stability and relevance for the next generation of users and visitors.”
The decision to launch the search at this time comes as Hancock Shaker Village enters its quiet winter season after a year under Hansen’s leadership, which saw growth in membership, school and bus tours, expansion of its online presence, the installation of a technical laboratory for the University of Massachusetts Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at Hancock, and the successful launch of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, in which more than 80 families participated in a weekly share of field-grown vegetables, fruits, and flowers.
Since 1977, the nonprofit National Executive Service Corps has helped more than 1,000 fellow nonprofits solve their managerial and operational problems, operate more efficiently, and seize strategic opportunities that can spur their growth. NESC does this through consulting projects that bring proven business planning and management skills to the nonprofit sector and through its experienced Executive Search team that conducts industry-standard searches, using proprietary methods and original research to help nonprofits identify, recruit, and hire highly qualified senior executives. Since launching its Executive Search service nearly two decades ago, NESC has placed high achievers in key leadership positions throughout the nonprofit world. Its museum clients have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Children’s Museum of Connecticut, Museum of Jewish Heritage, and New England Air Museum.
Situated on a picturesque expanse of farm, field, and woodland in Pittsfield, Mass., Hancock Shaker Village is an outdoor living history museum and center for the study of principled living in the 21st century. The fully restored Village includes 18 historic buildings, heirloom medicinal and vegetable gardens, 22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools, and clothes that depict daily life at the Shakers’ City of Peace through its 220 years, as well as heritage breed farm animals and spectacular hiking trails. There are daily tours, craft and cooking demonstrations, lectures and workshops, and a variety of activities for children and families, as well as a Museum Store and Shaker-inspired cuisine at the Village Harvest Café. The Discovery Room offers hands-on opportunities for kids of all ages to try their hand at chair seat weaving, working at a loom, trying on Shaker-style clothing, or milking a life-sized replica of a cow.