Improved program development and long-range planning will be the focused objectives of the newly elected president of the Historic Ambassador House and Heritage Gardens, it was announced today.
Long-time Fishers resident Pete (NMI) Feeney gaveled his first meeting to order today as the leader of the organization’s 13-person board of directors.
Noting proudly that a record number of visitors participated in Ambassador House events in 2011, Feeney praised the leadership of his predecessor,JeffWilson, citing improvements to the house, increased citizen participation, successful emergency response suffered due to a hail storm, flooding and high winds. Worthy of special note, Feeney stated, was the recognition of the Ambassador House as a preferred wedding and family event facility. Indeed, Feeney reported, he became “hooked” on the house after the wedding of his daughter there.
The Robert Dietrick Company sales executive added that Wilson’s significant achievements during his three years as president include the recruitment of a talented and dedicated group of citizens committed to providing quality programs and services while continuing to generate funds for serious sorely needed repairs and improvements to the nearly 200-year-old home. Feeney noted that underWilson’s leadership an annual schedule of popular programs such as the Harvest Wine Tasting Festival in September, a speakers program on garden issues, regularly scheduled guided tours of the house and gardens as well as holiday events and an active public information program has created a heightened awareness and appreciation of the project. Of special note, too, Feeney added were the facility improvements, including those unbudgeted costs for major repairs due to severe weather damage.
Wilson, Managing Partner, Key Corporate Services LLC, Indianapolis, will remain a member of the board.
The development of the gardens achieved through the formation of the Ambassador House Garden Club under the leadership of board member Ron Williams also was singled out by Feeney for special commendation. A new Host a Garden, garden destination bus trips, recruitment of volunteers and new plantings have heightened the attraction of the gardens, he added. Also worthy of mention, Feeney concluded, was the development of several major planning guidelines and policies under the direction of board member Kelly Gascoine.
Other new officers for the coming year include Bill Koehnlein, a professional home inspector and Fishers resident, who was selected to serve as vice president. Koehnlein with Feeney has coordinated numerous repair and other physical improvements to the historic structure. In addition, Melissa Fanning, also a resident of Fishers, was elected secretary of the board. Fanning, Development Coordinator for theSullivanMunceCulturalCenterat Zionsville, is pursuing an advanced degree in Public History at IUPUI. She has been instrumental in program development and history programs the last three years at the Ambassador House.
The Ambassador House is a 180-year-old home located in Fishers Heritage Park, East 106th Street and Eller Road, Fishers, offering a broad range of services for weddings and other group functions, tours, holiday activities and educational events. Programs are conducted under a lease agreement with the Town of Fishers, Parks and Recreation Department. The house and a stone outbuilding were relocated from a site just north of East 96th St. and Allisonville Rd. Nov. 19, 1996.
Additional board members include Julie Clark, Sherris Johnson, Mario Mirelez, Ruth Nickolich, Michael Quinn, Marj Sparks and Jocelyn Vare.
For additional information on Ambassador House events, call 845-4265 or visit the website: www.ambassadorhouse.org.