Sally Whipple, executive director at Connecticut’s Old State House and Chair of Connecticut Humanities, won an Excellence Award from the New England Museum Association for her extraordinary dedication to Connecticut heritage on November 6th. Whipple’s collaborative leadership style has shaped the Old State House (OSH) into “a vibrant, engaging, creative, and partnership‐oriented museum” in the words of one staffer. For the past thirty years Whipple has held many positions in the field, including: Secretary of the Stateʹs CT Civic Health Advisory Board, CT Civil War Commemoration Commission, Co‐Chair for NEMA’s Independent Museum Professionals Affinity Group, and Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO) as board member and President. Recently, as volunteer Chair for the Connecticut Humanities (CTH), Whipple advocated for the successful restoration of CTH funding by partnering with the heritage community she encouraged both communication with legislators and organized a CT Places Matter Rally at the State Capitol.
ʺThis award is a testament to Sally’s passion, commitment, and vision in his/her work for and with New England’s museums. Her work makes us better as a community of museum professionals and as a field,” said NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger in announcing the honor. “We are proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of Sally Whipple as an outstanding example of leadership and service to our museum colleagues, visitors, and partners.”
The NEMA Excellence Award competition recognizes individual members for excellence in museum practice, whether they’re behind‐the‐scenes or on the front lines, the unsung heroes or the superstars. Nominated by their peers, nominees represent a range of a worthy practices, acts of outreach, kind deeds, and sustained commitments to going above and beyond, regardless of job description. Winners were recognized at the 97th Annual NEMA Conference in Portland, Maine, November 6, 2015.