Susan Bennett to Step Down as Director of Canterbury Shaker Village
Maggie Stier Named Interim Director
Canterbury, NH -- Canterbury Shaker Village will see a change in leadership on February 1. Susan Bennett recently announced her intention to relinquish the duties of Executive Director as of January 31, 2019. She had come to the Village from the Lexington (MA) Historical Society in January, 2017.
“Susan Bennett has been such a force for positive change at the Village in her short tenure,” said Board chair Kirk Leoni. “We are most grateful for her dedicated leadership over the past two years. She extended her tenure at the Village well beyond what she had initially committed to, despite the long commute and time away from her family. Her training in legal matters and archives management, along with her skill in fundraising and museum management, made her an ideal leader for the Village. She established a team of colleagues at the Village who have worked collaboratively to improve many aspects of our stewardship and public outreach,” said Leoni.
Bennett is credited with reviving many aspects of the museum. She improved relationships with constituents, re-opened access to the research library and archives, began digitization of historic photographs, and organized institutional records to provide a clear trail for future leadership. She increased the number of special events and launched the highly successful Arts Week in 2018.
Bennett oversaw significant improvements in building maintenance and stewardship at the National Historic Landmark site. She moved Shaker Village’s museum store and ticketing functions into a historic building, and repurposed other buildings to welcome broader community use.
Maggie Stier, currently Director of Marketing & Development at the Village, will serve as Interim Executive Director beginning February 1. She will be working with the Board and staff to continue to develop a vision for the Village that will engage new audiences and continue the momentum established during Bennett’s tenure. Bennett will assist with the transition by working part-time as a consultant to Stier to complete several projects that she has initiated. One of those is the state-mandated repair of the dam at Turning Mill Pond in the Village, which recently received a $97,300 grant from the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP).
Stier brings many years of experience in historic preservation, museums, and Shaker studies to the position. Prior to coming to Canterbury Shaker Village in January, 2018, Stier spent ten years as Statewide Field Service Representative for the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, helping to preserve and repurpose historic buildings and landscapes throughout New Hampshire. She was the founding executive director at The Fells historic estate and gardens in Newbury, NH; curator at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA, and registrar at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth.
Leoni is optimistic about the future. “Canterbury Shaker Village is extremely fortunate to have had Susan Bennett as Executive Director. We also feel very fortunate to have a current team member with experience and skills who is stepping forward to seamlessly provide the leadership that the Village needs. We look forward to Maggie’s informed guidance as we continue to enhance Canterbury Shaker Village’s goals for public engagement and historic preservation.”