We've got a core crew of amazing folks volunteering tirelessly to provide our community with a downtown museum showcasing our heritage, covering everything from 1776 to the twentieth century.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICERS
PRESIDENT: Ray Midgett. Retired after 32 years as a public school educator where he served as a teacher and information technology professional. Moved to Washington in 2005 and worked with the City of Washington as the Information Technology Director until 2011. Is a history buff, collects stories about Coastal North Carolina, and shares them through a history blog and newspaper articles. Serves on the Waterfront Docks Advisory committee for the City of Washington. Graduated from UNC and has a Master of Education from UNCG. Raised in a Coast Guard family, he proudly volunteers as a member of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
VICE PRESIDENT: Stephen Farrell. Originally born and raised in Aberdeen, NC. From an early age, Stephen found himself interested in history with a focus on military and North Carolina history. Farrell studied at East Carolina University and holds a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina Pembroke. Farrell interned at the Tufts Archives in Pinehurst, NC where he pursued further education in the museum and archival field. Farrell is currently the reference specialist/genealogist at the Brown Library where he looks forward to helping patrons with their requests for genealogical information and local history.
SECRETARY: Gail Baird. Retired after 30 years in the software industry. Interests are in tennis, golf, pickleball, jogging, history, and art. Currently an Arts of the Pamlico board member. Served over 25 years as a volunteer for Special Olympics. Graduated from NCSU with an accounting degree followed by a CPA license. Learning about the history of Washington, NC is exciting and new, with a special interest in the everyday life of the people that lived here many years ago.
TREASURER: Joan Cottle. Born and raised in rural Duplin County. Received an Associates Degree in Accounting and attended Mt Olive University for Human Resources. Started my career as a Staff Accountant at a CPA firm. After several years, moved into Home Health and Hospice Management and Human Resources. After 10 years there, I founded my own HR consulting firm concentrated in Home Healthcare. It was during that time that I made my first trip to Little Washington (as we in Duplin called it) to visit a client. I never expected to be living in this beautiful river town. My husband and I moved across the river in the Cypress Landing Community in 2015 when his job brought us to the area. We soon realized that downtown Washington was where we should be. So we sold our house there and purchased the perfect home on Main Street that was built in 1896. I have always loved all things old and their history, especially buildings and architecture. I also enjoy volunteering and fundraising. So HPOW checks all those boxes for me. During my free time, I love to make things: crafting, sewing, and painting. Most recently I have started a Crafting Business offering classroom-style sessions to inspire and teach others the joys of making and creating.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
TRUSTEE (Chairperson): Billie Jean Mallison. A resident of Washington Historic District for 33 years, President Eureka Square Condo Association; retired Beaufort County Social Worker 25 years, MIT degree Early Childhood Education, Interests Local History, how the past affects the present, greater understanding may affect our future.
TRUSTEE: David Connor. Dave moved to Washington in 2007 from Greenville, SC where he taught high school math for fifteen years. He now teaches as an adjunct at Beaufort County Community College. He is the brother of Judy Smith of Washington and has grown children and grandchildren scattered in Florida, Arizona, Illinois, and Indiana. Dave is a member of the Ruritans and enjoys the musical performances of the Choral Society and the Orchestra. He holds a degree in Art History from The University of Pennsylvania.
TRUSTEE: Keith Hackney. Keith is a general practice attorney serving Washington since 1975. Mr. Hackney practices corporation and business law, real estate law, environmental law, wills, trusts, estate planning, and probate law.
TRUSTEE: Gill Hookway-Jones, MBA MPH. Inspired at a young age learning to canoe and sail on the Pamlico River at Camp Leach and Camp Hardee, she has a deep life-long appreciation for Beaufort County’s maritime and architectural heritage. After a Fortune 500 career in classic marketing and product promotions and a health care career in SC and Florida …she eventually returned to NC to be a development partner of a new venture in Elon. She now lives in a 100-year-old home in little Washington. She volunteers with HPOW, the Historic Bath Site, and serves on the City of Washington Planning Board.
TRUSTEE: Leesa Jones. A retired teacher of 35 years and an Ordained Minister for 24 years. Leesa is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum and on the Board Of Trustees of the Brown Library. She is also a member of the Historic Bath Commission as well as on the Board of the Washington Harbor District Alliance. She founded Washington's African American Walking History Tours in 2010 and helped to get the first NC Highway Historical Commission Marker for an African American subject in Beaufort County erected in Washington.
TRUSTEE: Elaine McClure. Originally from Rochester, NY. Earned a BS degree from Purdue University. Was a sportswear buyer for a specialty store and department store in Houston, TX, and Washington, DC. After many years in the retail business, joined Girl Scouts of the USA in their uniform and equipment division. Utilized my retail skills for a good cause, namely Girl Scouts. In retirement, found the wonderful town of Washington, NC to enjoy retirement years. Quilting is a favorite activity along with studying American and local history.
TRUSTEE: Blount Rumley. Born in Washington in 1941, his family roots in the region date from the eighteenth century. He was infused with the area's history by the stories of friends and relatives and through their written accounts. After retiring from the family auto and industrial supply business, he enjoyed over seventeen years as Manager of the North Carolina Estuarium. He serves on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Maritime History Council, and he is now fully involved in archival and literary pursuits.
TRUSTEE: Pat Vore. A 20 year resident of Beaufort County with a love for Washington and its rich history. Retired after practicing as a registered nurse for 40 years. Currently an amateur historian and volunteer librarian for the First United Methodist Church, Washington, and member of Beaufort County Choral Society.