ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER ANNOUNCES SHEFFIELD HALE TO BECOME NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO
ATLANTA, GA – The Board of Trustees announced that Sheffield Hale has been selected as president and CEO of the Atlanta History Center, effective March 19, 2012. Hale will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the History Center’s operation, while leading the organization through key transformations, including a $27 million capital campaign.
Hale, a native Atlantan, brings a lifelong passion for history to his new position, and has been involved with the Atlanta History Center as a volunteer for the past 25 years, and an active board member from 1997-2010. He has served as chair of the board (2004-2006), and been involved with a variety of committees, including the Capital Campaign Committee that raised $31 million for the restoration of Swan House and Smith Family Farm; renovation of the Kenan Research Center; and the construction of the John Fentener van Vlissingen wing, which houses the Centennial Olympic Games Museum.
“The Atlanta History Center has been a part of my family, and my passion, for a long time,” said Sheffield Hale. “I have enjoyed working with the board and staff as the History Center has transformed itself over the past decade.”
Over the last ten years, the History Center has expanded the Kenan Research Center to provide enhanced free public access to the archives and library; improved the gardens and grounds on the 33 acre Buckhead campus; added the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown to its operations; built the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; and completed extensive award-winning restorations of the Swan House and Smith Family Farm.
“As we look to the History Center’s future, we want to strengthen our presence in the community, and the state, as a major cultural institution,” said Hale. “Our region is growing, and our audiences are changing. We must adapt and transform our visitor experience for all ages, cultures, and learning styles to tell a more complete history of our city and meet the needs of the growing Atlanta metropolitan area in the decades to come.”
Built in 1993, the Atlanta History Museum at the Atlanta History Center is at the center of the capital campaign, which will transform the Atlanta History Museum inside, and out. Through the creation of a bold new exhibition that will redefine Atlanta’s story for the 21st century audiences, and the improvement of event facilities and amenities, the new visitor experience will incorporate new perspectives, engage new audiences, and welcome everyone to be a part of the Atlanta History Center experience.
“Our vision is to connect people, history and culture and I believe we are poised to create an institution that will successfully accomplish that vision under Hale’s leadership,” said Bill Shearer, chairman of the History Center board of trustees.
Since 2002, Hale has served as Chief Counsel for the American Cancer Society, the largest voluntary health organization in the United States. Before his tenure with the American Cancer Society, he was an associate (1986-1994), and partner (1994-2002) with Kilpatrick Stockton LLP.
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During his time at the American Cancer Society, Hale has been an ongoing advocate, and published author, on the importance of best practices and utilizing transparency to improve nonprofit management. He will continue to incorporate the same principles in his new role at the History Center.
An executive search committee worked with Boardwalk Consulting in a nationwide search. “We interviewed a variety of candidates ranging from museum professionals to corporate business executives,” said David Lanier, chair of the search committee. “Sheffield has shown great nonprofit leadership at the American Cancer Society, he has a deep appreciation and respect of Atlanta’s history, he lives his passion for history every day through his community involvement, and he will be able to provide leadership to an organization that is positioned for a period of tremendous growth.”
In addition, Hale currently serves on the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the University of Georgia Foundation, the Robert W. Woodruff Library of Atlanta University Center, Atlanta Landmarks, Inc, and Central Atlanta Progress.
Previous community involvement includes the Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators, chair of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, and he has served on the boards of the Joel Chandler Harris Association, Historic Oakland Foundation (Oakland Cemetery), the Atlanta Preservation Center, and Emory University Board of Visitors.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER:
Founded in 1926, the Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive, thirty-three-acre destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum, one of the Southeast’s largest interactive history museums; two historic houses, the 1928 Swan House and the 1860 Smith Family Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; the Kenan Research Center; the Grand Overlook event space; Chick-Fil-A at the Coca-Cola Café, a museum shop, and acres of Historic Gardens with paths and the kid-friendly Connor Brown Discovery Trail.
In addition, the History Center operates the Margaret Mitchell House. Located in Midtown Atlanta, the two-acre campus features tours of the apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Gone With the Wind, an exhibition highlighting the life of Margaret Mitchell, a Gone With the Wind movie exhibition, and a museum shop. For information on Atlanta History Center offerings, hours of operation, and admission, call 404.814.4000 or visit AtlantaHistoryCenter.com.