Tag Archives: Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes Museum Hires Development Director


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The Finger Lakes Museum has announced the appointment of Richard Lane as Development Director. Richard brings over 20 years of senior level experience in the non-profit sector to the Museum, which will open its Discovery Campus, in Branchport in 2013 and plans to open its exhibit-based museum facility and aquarium in 2014-2015 at Keuka State Park.

While serving four nationally-recognized organizations, Richard has worked on capital campaigns, including construction projects, ranging from $12 million to $18 million. He has extensive experience in community outreach and advocacy, working diligently with non-profit boards to accomplish those projects.

Executive Director Don Naetzker stated, “We are very pleased and excited to have Richard on our team. We are impressed with his capabilities and look forward to working with him.”

Upon accepting the offer, Lane said “Having vacationed on the Finger Lakes since 2001 at my in-laws, and having been married at Norton Chapel, Keuka College, I have grown to love this very special region with all it has to offer. I am especially attracted to the Museum’s focus on protecting and sustaining the natural beauty and resources of the Finger Lakes, while promoting a green economy. I am truly excited about working with Board and staff to realize the Finger Lakes Museum, which will greatly benefit the region.”

Contact Richard by email at rlane@fingerlakesmuseum.org or by phone at 315-418-0536 to set up a time to meet with him to discuss giving opportunities, questions about future donations, or to get to know one another over a cup of coffee.

In April, The Finger Lakes Museum launched its annual campaign titled “Preserving your Passions”. By the end of December, the Museum hopes to raise $450,000. Contributions are being accepted to help the Museum make their first annual giving campaign a success so they can continue supplying the Finger Lakes community and its visitors with educational programming focused on the preservation and stewardship of this beautiful Finger Lakes region. Donations can be made online or by mail to: The Finger Lakes Museum, PO Box 96, Keuka Park, NY, 14478.

The Finger Lakes Museum is proposed as the premier natural and cultural resource dedicated to the enjoyment, education and stewardship of the Finger Lakes Region – and to fresh water conservation. The Museum is chartered by the NYS Education Department and incorporated as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization.

For more information or to make contact, visit www.fingerlakesmuseum.org

Finger Lakes Museum Opens New Satellite Office


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The Finger Lakes Museum has a new satellite office space at 81 Browns Race in the High Falls historic district of Rochester. The Museum signed a co-location agreement with the Philipson Group, a creative communications and marketing firm. According to a statement issued to the press, the main purpose of the new office space is development. Current and potential supporters and consultants of the Museum from the surrounding Rochester area are expected to have the place to visit one on one with Museum staff and keep abreast of their progress. Plans for the Museum will be on display and collateral material will be available inside, museum officials said.

To schedule a time to meet with the Museum staff at their new location, call 315-595-2200 or email as follows:

Executive Director, Don Naetzker dnaetzker@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Interim Development Director, John Adamski jadamski@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Communications/Programs Director, Natalie Payne npayne@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Photo: The Finger Lakes Museum employees, Executive Director Don Naetzker and Communications/Programs Director Natalie Payne, stand outside of their new satellite location in High Falls, Rochester.

Finger Lakes Museum Exceeds Fundraising Goal


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The Finger Lakes Museum’s board president, John Adamski, has announced that the organization has surpassed its Founders Campaign goal of raising $1 million by December 31st.

The total includes pledges that are still being paid and in­kind contributions for legal and other pro­bono professional services, which the museum would have otherwise had to pay for. The fund is currently $12,000 over the goal.

The Founders Campaign was launched and initially funded by the museum’s board of trustees in July 2010. The first major boosts came as grants from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, the James P. Gordon Charitable Trust and the Rochester Area Community Foundation, which totaled $120,000.

Adamski said that some larger private donations ranged between $500 and $50,000 but “most contributions were $100 grassroots gifts from individuals and families.” Every donor’s name will be permanently inscribed on the Founders Wall in the main museum building when it opens in Keuka Lake State Park.

Last December, The Finger Lakes Museum was awarded $2.3 million in New York State economic development grants as one of 10 Finger Lakes Region Economic Development Council ­recommended transformational projects. Those funds will be used to convert the Branchport Elementary School, which the museum purchased a year ago, into The Finger Lakes Research &
Education Center.

That part of the project is shovel-­ready and will serve as the museum’s operations center and a place where regional academic institutions can collaborate in the study of issues like water quality, invasive species, and sustainability. It will become a permanent adjunct facility to the museum and serve as a center for local and area community gatherings as well.

Adamski said that an annual fund drive to support the day-­to­-day operation of the project is being planned to replace the Founders Campaign and that an announcement is forthcoming. He is also looking for sponsors for the museum’s 2012 educational program, which is being developed to tell the stories of grape­-growing and wine­-making in the Finger Lakes Region.

Anyone who may be interested in becoming a sponsor can contact him at jadamski@fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Finger Lakes Boating Museum Appoints Exec Director


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The Finger Lakes Boating Museum has announced the appointment of Dr. David C. Danahar, a retired college president, as Executive Director of the Boating Museum. Danahar, who now lives in Canandaigua, was President of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MI, from 2001 to 2011.

“We are delighted to announce the engagement of Dr. Danahar as Executive Director of the Boating Museum,” said William Oben, president of the Museum. “He brings a wealth of valuable knowledge in resource development and organizational administration gained from his extensive academic career.”

The Boating Museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva in the fall of 2009 to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the city’s Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Geneva Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $2 million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio.

Also named to the staff of the Boating Museum as assistant to the executive director is Bobbi Clifford of Romulus. Clifford is retired after 35 years of teaching in various local school districts, including Geneva, North Rose-Wolcott, Naples, Lyons, Clyde-Savannah and Newark. She coordinated and directed programs for Gifted and Talented Students and Arts-In-Education programs. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, Inc.

As president of Southwest Minnesota State, Danahar was the chief executive officer of the university responsible for leading the faculty, staff and students in developing and accomplishing the university’s mission.

His administrative experience also includes serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Loyola University in New Orleans from 1992-2001, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut from 1985-1992, Director of General Education at the State University of New York at Oswego from 1979-1985 and Acting Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York at Oswego in 1983 and 1984-1985.

In another development related to the appointment of an executive director, the Boating Museum has engaged Danforth Development of Rochester to lead the creation of a fundraising plan for capital needs for the organization.

The Boating Museum’s collection of more than 100 historic boats and vessels built in the Finger Lakes also includes numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. Besides the story of boat manufacturing, the Boating Museum also researches and informs on the impact that marine transportation has had on the development of the region.

The collection of boats and artifacts is being moved to a storage facility in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on North Genesee Street arranged by the Geneva IDA. Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, which will also feature boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design, construction and use of the boats and boating history materials and programs.

The Boating Museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Name the Finger Lakes Museum Eagle Contest


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The Finger Lakes Museum has announced “Name the Eagle,” its first school-based program for area students. Every K-12 student in the Finger Lakes Region will have an opportunity to leave an imprint on the new museum by naming its bald eagle. The winning student will be eligible to have a live bald eagle visit his or her school.

The vision of The Finger Lakes Museum is to create a premier, eco-friendly educational institution that provides entertaining and compelling experiences for visitors and residents. Static and interactive exhibits will immerse visitors in discovery experiences that inspire pride, appreciation, and stewardship for the protection of the region and its water resources.

The eagle is not only the national symbol of the United States, but it represents the new museum as well. It is also one of the most successful conservation stories in American history. In 1965, a single pair of bald eagles remained in all of New York State and nested on Hemlock Lake. Through the dedication and hard work of private individuals and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, more than 200 bald eagle nesting sites occur across the state today.

The Name the Eagle contest will challenge students from across the Finger Lakes Region to identify a name for the museum’s eagle. Students will be encouraged to submit names that are relevant to their region’s cultural and/or natural history. The winning name will be chosen by The Finger Lakes Museum’s Education Committee and the winner’s school will be rewarded with a special program and visit from a live bald eagle.

The contest is open to students in grades K-12; contest entry forms will be distributed through principals and curriculum coordinators in early October; or they can be downloaded from the Museum’s website. For questions about The Finger Lakes Museum and the Name the Eagle contest, contact eagle@fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Geneva Growth Donate $10k to Boating Museum


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Geneva Growth, a local economic development agency, has donated $10,000 to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. In a lakefront ceremony at the future site of the museum, former Geneva Growth President Phil Beckley presented a check for $10,000 to Bill Oben, president of the museum Board of Directors. Also taking part in the ceremony were Vince Scalise of Geneva Growth and Ed Wightman, vice president of the museum board.

“Geneva Growth’s donation represented delivery on a promise made several months ago with the hope that our group’s early show of faith would lead to broader financial support from the community at large,” said Beckley.

Oben said the funds will be used to organize and support the multi-million dollar Preserving Our Boating Heritage campaign to outfit the Museum on the Geneva waterfront.

“We partnered with Geneva Growth in 2009 to bring the Boating Museum to Geneva, and they have provided invaluable support to the Museum during the past three years,” said Oben. “This extremely generous gift is the latest manifestation of their belief in the importance of this project for the City of Geneva.”

The Boating Museum is in partnership with the City of Geneva to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $2-million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio.

“We have believed in the viability of the Boating Museum and its benefit to Geneva from the start,” said Beckley, “and we challenge others to join us in providing funding for the museum’s start up. This is a great achievement as Genevans join together for a waterfront attraction that will bring visitors to the city as well as enhance the lakefront experience for local people.”

Current Geneva Growth President Dave Bunnell said that the organization views its mission as supporting local economic development projects and strives to put its money to work in the community. “We brought the City and the Boating Museum together several years ago and we are now pleased to offer financial support as the project advances,” said Bunnell.

Bunnell noted that Geneva Growth also supports the Museum in another way as three of its members, Beckley, Scalise and himself, serve on the Boating Museum board.

Starting the ball rolling to raise seed money for the museum were contributions totaling $15,000 from members of the Museum’s Board of Directors. The Finger Lakes Times, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Geneva IDA all have donated in-kind contributions valued at $10,000. The Geneva Business Improvement District has also committed $10,000 predicated on the Museum first meeting a fundraising goal set by BID.

Joanne Wisor, IDA Chair, commented, “The FLBM inventory of classic, locally built vessels is in temporary storage at the Geneva Enterprise Development Center (the old American Can building on North Genesee Street) until its new quarters on the lakefront are ready. The board of the Geneva IDA, which owns the GEDC, has offered the space at no cost to the FLBM to help ensure the Museum’s successful location in the City of Geneva.”

The Boating Museum has assembled a collection of more than 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, but President Oben emphasized that there will be a lot more to the museum than viewing boats because education, restoration and preservation are the key elements of the museum’s mission. Also featured will be boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design and construction of boats and boating history materials and programs.

The Boating Museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the Boating Museum may be found on its website.

Photo: Phil Beckley (second from left), former president of Geneva Growth, presents a check for $10,000 to Bill Oben, president of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. Also participating were Vince Scalise (left) of Geneva Growth, and Ed Wightman, (right) vice president of the Museum. The presentation took place alongside the marker commemorating the location of the Fay & Bowen Engine Company, which built wooden boats in Geneva from 1904 to 1929.

The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes


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Part 2 of The Finger Lakes Museum’s three-part inaugural program series, Back from the Brink; The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, will be presented at the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca on Thursday, August 18th at 7:00 p.m. The series highlights the natural and cultural history of the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes.

Lima Town Historian Douglas Morgan will present, “Blue Blood to Blue Water”, a forgotten view of what Hemlock and Canadice—the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes—looked like between 1875 and 1945. It is a remarkable story of quaint cottages, elegant summer homes, bustling resort hotels, and passenger-ferrying steamboats—and the City of Rochester’s need of a new source for clean drinking water. Morgan’s program will include a slide presentation of antique photographs that help tell his story.

Part 3, “Lakes Go Wild”, will be presented in the Finger Lakes Wine Center on Thursday, September 1st at 7:00 p.m. It will tell about watershed protection efforts that began more than a century ago and detail the trials and tribulations that eventually evolved into the 7,000-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest in 2010. A slide presentation will accompany this final program chapter.

According to museum board president, John Adamski, Part 1 of the series, “From the Brink of Extinction”, which was presented at the Wine Center on Saturday, August 6th, “told the story of the successful restoration of the bald eagle—a conservation effort that began in the Finger Lakes Region and spread across the nation.” He added, “People were excited to see Liberty, a live bald eagle, in-person, and were enthusiastic about The Finger Lakes Museum’s vision.”

Each of the “Back from the Brink” presentations is free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested. Donations are welcome.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009 and is operating from offices in a former elementary school in Branchport, NY, which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District in January.

The Museum’s Board of Trustees has launched a Founders Campaign to raise $1 million to retain design professionals and other consultants, hire staff, and pay for day-to-day operations. With a donation of $100 or more, anyone can become a Museum Founder and have their name permanently inscribed on the Founders Wall in the lobby of The Finger Lakes Museum. Donors will also receive a Founder certificate and decal.

For more information on the Founders Campaign or to pre-register for these programs, visit our website at www.fingerlakesmuseum.org or call us at 315-595-2200.

Photo: A 1910 Reunion at the Hemlock Lake Resort Springwater.

Update on Finger Lakes Museum Efforts


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The president of The Finger Lakes Museum’s board of trustees announced that the project’s Founders Campaign is nearing the halfway mark in an endeavor to raise $1 million by December 31st. The drive is financing operations at the former Branchport Elementary School, including hiring staff, and paying consultants for architectural and exhibit design services.

Board President John Adamski said, “The Founders Campaign was launched by the board late last year and has resulted in hundreds of donations that range from $100 to $100,000. We’re almost halfway there but there is still a long way to go.” He is asking people from across the Finger Lakes Region to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the project. Significant funding has been received from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation and the Rochester Area Community Foundation. “We are also looking for program sponsors,” he added.

Anyone, including regional businesses, can become a founder of The Finger Lakes Museum by making a contribution of $100 or more. Donors will receive a founders’ certificate, vehicle decal, and have their names permanently inscribed as members of the Founders Society on the Founders Wall in the entrance to the main museum building. Contributions can be made online or mailed to the museum at PO Box 96, Keuka Park, NY, 14478.

The Finger Lakes Museum is an initiative to build a premier educational institution in Keuka Lake State Park to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the 9,000 square-mile Finger Lakes Region. It was chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 2009 and is operating from development offices in the school, which it purchased from the Penn Yan Central School District last January.

Adamski said that the project is being planned to become a primary tourist destination that will feature one of the largest freshwater fish aquariums in the Northeast. Studies show that it has the potential to increase tourism in the Finger Lakes Region and create hundreds of jobs in the private sector, he said.

Adamski also announced the election of two new members to the organization’s board of trustees. Tim Sellers of Geneva, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Keuka College, and retired lumber executive John Meisch of Rushville were both elected in a unanimous vote. Adamski said, “Tim’s expertise as a limnologist and professor of biology and environmental science will be a tremendous asset in planning the natural history component of the museum. We are all very excited to have him aboard.”

He also said, “And John Meisch brings a lifetime of business management experience and a working knowledge of American History to the board, which balances the cultural history component. I think that we’ve hit two home runs here.” The addition of Sellers and Meisch brings the number of board members to 13.

For more information or to make contact, see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Finger Lakes Museum Presents Inaugural Program


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The Finger Lakes Museum will present its inaugural program series, “Back from the Brink: The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes”, at Keuka College in three separate installments during the month of July. The first part of this series will begin with the telling of one of North America’s most fascinating conservation stories. Parts 2 and 3, which are scheduled for later in the month, complete this chronicle series. Each of the programs will be held at the Lightner Library.

Part I – From the Brink of Extinction: On Saturday, July 2nd at 2:00 p.m., bald eagle specialist Mike Allen, who recently retired from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, will talk about the discovery of the last remaining pair of nesting bald eagles in New York State in 1965 and the decades-long endeavor that ensued to restore their population. The original pair nested at the south end of Hemlock Lake. While telling his story, Mike will also present his original photographs and will be accompanied by Liberty, a magnificent live bald eagle.

Part II – Blue Blood to Blue Water: On Thursday, July 14th at 7:00 p.m., Lima Town Historian Douglas Morgan will present a forgotten view of what Hemlock and Canadice Lakes—the only two undeveloped Finger Lakes—looked like between 1875 and 1945. It is a remarkable story of cottages, summer homes, resort hotels, and steamboats—and the City of Rochester’s need of a new source for clean drinking water. Doug will include a slide presentation of antique photographs that help tell his story.

Part III – Lakes Go Wild: On Thursday, July 28th at 7:00 p.m., Jim Howe, executive director of the Central New York Chapter of the Nature Conservancy; Don Root, the Hemlock-Canadice Watershed Conservationist for the last 30 years; Steve Lewandowski, founder of the Coalition for Hemlock and Canadice Lakes; and Paul D’Amato, Regional Director for NYS DEC Region 8—all longtime advocates for the permanent protection of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes—will present this program. They will tell about watershed protection efforts that began more than a century ago and detail the trials and tribulations that eventually evolved into the 7,000-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest in 2010. A slide presentation will accompany this final program chapter.

Each of the “Back from the Brink” presentations is free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested. Donations are encouraged. For more information or to pre-register, see www.fingerlakesmuseum.org.

Note: This series will also be taking place at the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca on August 6th, August 18th, and September 1st.