Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum Announces New Board President and Board Members
Contributed By: Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum
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Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum announces the appointment of five new members to its board of directors and the election of a new board president and treasurer.
Helen Charbonneau, a board member and volunteer, has been elected Board President. Helen became a volunteer at Ventfort Hall four years ago at the suggestion of her next door neighbor who happened to be a member of Ventfort’s Board. Her first task was to upgrade the office computer equipment and software and eventually became a board member.
Helen graduated from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro with a BA in music and received a Masters in Library Service from Columbia University. Most of her working life has been spent in libraries as a reference librarian, supervisor of cataloging and for the last 14 years of her career as the IT Director of the Wellesley Free Library in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Five years ago, she retired and moved, with her husband Philip and two cats, from the eastern side of Mass to the Berkshires. “I have always had a strong interest in history, particularly local history and this was the perfect time to change course and to pursue that interest.”
Rick Ryer, a resident of Pittsfield, and chair of Ventfort Hall’s Building and Grounds Committee, joins the board as treasurer. Rick has also volunteered at Hancock Shaker Village. He retired from Berkshire Gas Company where he was a team leader for key accounts.
Also appointed to the board were John Block, Claire Shomphe, Molly Tabachnikov and Courtney Smith.
John Block is a resident of Pittsfield and a member of Ventfort Hall’s Building and Grounds Committee. He spent his career in sales management and consulting for the food service industry.
Claire Shomphe is a resident of Pittsfield and also a member of Ventfort Hall’s Building and Grounds Committee. She is an avid home restoration expert and a local realtor with Housatonic Real Estate.
Molly Tabachnikov is a resident of Lanesborough and a volunteer docent. Molly spent her career as an English teacher and now enjoys writing poetry and science fiction novels.
Courtney Smith is a resident of Lenox and has hopes of becoming a member of the fundraising committee. Courtney has several years of experience with events coordination. She is a Mortgage Officer at Adams Community Bank.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as an important partner of the Lenox Cultural District, one of the five such Berkshire County districts, Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum was built in 1893 for George and Sarah Morgan, the sister of legendary financier J. Pierpont Morgan.
Self-guided tours of the historic mansion are offered daily, as well as Tea & Talks, such exhibitions as the Bellefontaine Collection, concerts, theater, ghost tours and hunts as well as other programs. This elegant Jacobean-Revival Berkshire “cottage” is open to the public year-round and is available for private rental. Ventfort Hall, also an Official Project of Save America’s Treasures program sponsored by The White House, has undergone substantial restoration, which continues.
Posted: September 6, 2023
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