Leadership Transition Underway at the Accokeek Foundation
Accokeek, MD – Dr. Lisa Hayes will succeed Dr. Wilton Corkern as President and CEO of the Accokeek Foundation when Corkern retires on September 30, 2011. Hayes, who has served as the Foundation’s Director of Education and Public Programs since 2007, was “the unanimous selection of the Board of Trustees,” announced Board Chair Patricia Williams. “We are delighted that Lisa will step up to this new responsibility. Her appointment will not only ensure that we maintain our leadership in public history, land conservation, museum theater, and sustainable agriculture, but will also take the Accokeek Foundation forward into new and exciting programs.”
Hayes has spent more than thirty years working with non-profit institutions, from grant making and service organizations to theaters and museums. She began her professional life as a program director at the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, overseeing grants and technical assistance to organizations in seven states and the District of Columbia. She went on to a career in theater in New York City and to a PhD at the State University of New York at Buffalo. While in Buffalo, Hayes served as Director of the Mark Diamond Research Fund, which provided grants to graduate students for research, and she created a course in museum theater with the Buffalo Museum of Science and the university’s theater department.
When Hayes was awarded a PhD in American Studies in 2008, she was already leading a major revision of the Accokeek Foundation’s school tours and expansion of the museum theater program at the National Colonial Farm. Hayes was instrumental in starting the successful partnership with the National Children’s Museum, created an innovative curriculum-based program with Gwynn Park High School science teachers, served as Vice President of the Prince George’s History Consortium, coordinated community engagement in shifting the focus of the Foundation’s popular African American Heritage Day, and is now leading the Piscataway Cultural Landscape Initiative to expand accessibility and interpretation of American Indian history and culture in Piscataway Park.
“Very seldom do people find a job that draws on all of their intellectual and creative talents, while at the same time giving them the opportunity to learn and experience new things. The Accokeek Foundation has been that job for me,” said Hayes. “I am gratified and humbled by the Board’s confidence that my experience, leadership skills, and ability to form strategic partnerships will enable me to successfully guide this remarkable organization into the future.”
Wilton Corkern, who last year had announced to the board his intention to retire, has headed the Accokeek Foundation since 1989. Corkern will work alongside Hayes during the next six months and, as the transition is completed this fall, the Accokeek Foundation will honor Corkern with the National Conservation Leadership Award at its Leadership Salute on October 9.