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Breed retires as historical society’s executive director

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GALENA–Friday, June 26 was Nancy Breed’s last day as executive director of the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society.

Reflecting back upon her 14-and-a-half years in the role, Breed says there have been many highlights, including the 2015 Peace in Union Play, advancement of the plan to relocate the museum from Bench Street to a sustainable location, a capital campaign resulting in gifts and pledges of $2.4 million to date, and the purchase of the Stillman and Crow properties to create a new museum campus.

“The years have been filled with challenges and progress,” said Breed. “It has been the hardest job I have ever loved! I have countless pleasant memories of staff, board members, volunteers, members…so many wonderful connections!”

Christine Harris, president of the historical society board credits Breed with leading the way.

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“For almost 15 years Nancy has steered the Society through challenges and toward opportunities,” said Harris. “Her exemplary leadership will be missed but we are inspired by her example. Onward!”

Even as she leaves in the midst of a pandemic, Breed looks forward to the organization’s future.

“While the pandemic and its subsequent financial impact is causing great stress on our organization, we have a dedicated board and volunteers to continue our forward progress. Jean Matthiessen, recently appointed interim executive director, will be a stabilizing force during this challenging time in our organization’s history.”

Matthiessen describes herself as passionate about the society and is hopeful that she and her co-worker, Denise Spielman, can work through the challenges, offering the rich history of the Jo Daviess County area to the community and visitors through the museum.

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