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Renfrew restructures its upper makeup

October 12, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - After months without a curator, Renfrew Museum and Park has chosen to restructure its administration, eliminating the curator position.

With a unanimous vote, the Renfrew Committee Inc. (RCI) decided two was better than one and replaced the curator with an administrator and a supervisor of visitor services, a Renfrew official said Wednesday.

"Renfrew does not have a great need for curator at this time, its history is well-defined," said David Hykes, chairman of the personnel committee and chair of the Renfrew executive committee.

Although the committee's decision comes nine months after the resignation of former curator Jim Ross, splitting the position was not the committee's original plan.

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Renfrew sought a replacement for Ross, who resigned in January, but after arrangements with the chosen candidate fell through, they turned to other options.

"We realized that we already had someone in our ranks who could operate the museum," Hykes said.

Last month, the board hired Bonnie Iseminger as administrator and Sue Smith as supervisor of visitor services.

"Between Bonnie and Sue, what was done by past curators can be continued under this structure," Hykes said.

Iseminger, who has a background as an executive secretary, was the "obvious choice, a no-brainer," Hykes said, after she kept the museum going in the wake of Ross' resignation. Smith, he said, was chosen for her strong fundraising work in Colonial Williamsburg and her work with the Elder Hostel program at the College of William & Mary.

Iseminger has been employed by Renfrew for some time, while Smith was a new hire.

"The first couple of months are a steep learning curve," Smith said. "I have a lot to learn about what goes on here."

The committee has no plans to return to the curator structure for Renfrew, Hykes said, adding that the structure only will change again if necessary.

The committee's decision comes on the eve of Renfrew's largest fundraiser, its Pumpkin Festival.

"This is a huge effort they plan at least a year in advance," Smith said. "I have only been in on this for a month, and I am busy."

Smith said this year's festival, scheduled for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., has added a Pumpkin Pie contest, raffle and hot air balloon rides to its list of events.

Iseminger was unavailable for comment.

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