Kenneth Pott named museum director

The Tri-Cities Historical Museum has named Kenneth Pott, currently executive director of the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph, as the new director of the Grand Haven museum. Pott will succeed Dennis Swartout, who is retiring on July 1 after 11 years as director of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum. The search committee received 46 applications from across the U.S., and many were "eminently qualified,' said Mary Jane Belter, secretary of the museum board.
Tribune Staff
Apr 26, 2011


The search committee narrowed the list down to four finalists, each of whom were personally interviewed by the full board. 

Belter said Pott has an extensive museum background — including developing and implementing collections policies, amassing and building a museum library and archives, curatorial development, the researching and assembly of exhibits, grant writing, and the development and implementation of education programs.

Pott has been the executive director of the St. Joseph museum and center since May 2000. He previously worked 19 years as curator of collections for the Michigan Maritime Museum, where he was responsible for the management and development of collections and educational programming.
Pott currently serves on the Michigan Museums Association Board, is involved with the Museum Assessment Program of the American Association of Museums and is a past-president of the Historical Society of Michigan. He has also served as development coordinator for the Frederick S. Upton Fellowship Program in Public History at Western Michigan University.

"Working in concert with the board and staff, it will be my role to move the museum's important mission forward to research, preserve and present the rich cultural history of the Tri-Cities area to the benefit of the communities and many constituents it serves," Pott said in a statement. "I look forward to building upon the remarkable range of exhibits, educational programs, collaborations and preservation services that have already been established by the museum.”

Under Swartout’s guidance, the Grand Haven museum’s Akeley Building was acquired in June 2002 and formally dedicated in 2004 as the new expanded home of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum. This 18,000-square-foot facility was purchased and fully renovated with a $2 million local capital campaign conducted over a five-year period.

“I was given an opportunity that few people are provided in a lifetime — being a part of a major community undertaking that produced a marvelous new museum facility that’s best able to showcase the rich, unique history of the Tri-Cities,” Swartout said in a press release. “I feel we are the best small-town museum in Michigan.”

Swartout has also served as co-chairman of the museum’s Feast of the Strawberry Moon historic re-enactment since it was first established in 2001. He plans to continue to serve as an Ottawa County commissioner and remain involved with the Grand Haven Main Street Downtown Development Authority.


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