PORTSMOUTH -- At its 100th Annual Convention in Stamford, Conn., the New England Museum Association (NEMA) honored Lawrence J. Yerdon, president and CEO of Strawbery Banke Museum with the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In announcing the award NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger noted, “From time to time NEMA honors individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the museum field over the course of a distinguished career. Our Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a professional’s commitment to excellence, leadership in the field, service to others, and support of NEMA. We are honored to present the 2018 NEMA Lifetime Achievement Award to our good friend and colleague, Lawrence J. Yerdon. Larry, President and CEO of Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, N.H., has had a distinguished career in museums, is an active supporter of NEMA, including as its past president, and has mentored countless museum professionals as they built their own careers in the field.”
Noting the significance of presenting the award at the 100th annual conference, NEMA took as its conference theme Museums on the Move, investigating how museums have evolved since the very first NEMA conference and how they are positioning themselves for success in the century ahead as the museum field reflects on where it has come from and where it is going. Presenting the award, Funi Burdick, president and CEO of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, past executive director of Canterbury Shaker Village and previous education director at Strawbery Banke, introduced Yerdon as colleague and friend, detailing that he came to Strawbery Banke as president 14 years ago, after 18 years as president of Hancock Shaker Village and executive director of the Quincy Historical Society prior to that.
In her remarks, Burdick said “Larry is the consummate mentor who works to empower” and cited Strawbery Banke’s skating rink and Heritage House Program as examples of “his determination to experiment with new and insightful ways to fulfill Strawbery Banke’s mission while enriching the lives of his community, creating a sustainable historic house model that is an example to us all.”
Accepting the award, Yerdon thanked NEMA, former and current trustees, and closed saying, “In thanking NEMA for this honor I want to thank all of you. At a time when kindness and common sense seem hard to come by, we can and should celebrate our profession and the essential work we do to make the world a much better place. Each day you illuminate what is best in all of us.”
About NEMA (NEMAnet.org)
A professional association of more than 2,600 museum members, NEMA inspires and connects people engaged with the museum field, provides tools for innovative leadership, and empowers museums to sustain themselves as essential to their communities.
About Strawbery Banke Museum (StrawberyBanke.org)
The Strawbery Banke Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
and Strawbery Banke Museum is a National Trust for Historic Preservation Distinctive Destination
. Every $1 spent by visitors to Strawbery Banke returns $2.37 to the Seacoast NH community.
PHOTO CAPTION: New England Museum Association executive director Dan Yaeger (left) and former NEMA Board member Funi Burdick present the 2018 NEMA Lifetime Achievement Award to Lawrence J. Yerdon, president and ceo of Strawbery Banke Museum. (Credit Marina Piedade)