Grand County Historical Association (GCHA) began the 2018 year with a new executive director.
The new position, filled by Shanna Ganne, will fill many needs of the nonprofit organization.
Ganne says her main mission is to meet the goals of the organization and the vision of the board. GCHA is currently governed by an 11 person board from around the county.
The new executive director position will be responsible for strategic planning, financials, human resources, developing policy, funding development, fundraising, volunteer engagement and providing staff support.
“Mostly I will be responsible for business administration portion of the museum to free up our museum professionals to do what they do best,” says Ganne of museum directors Tim Nicklas and Kristi Martens.
Ganne’s master in non-profit management, which teaches the business of running non-profits, has served Ganne well in her roles throughout the county. Ganne is the current executive director with the Grand County Concert Series, helps with the Indian Peaks Charter School, and formerly helped with the Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA.
She is now prepared to help GCHA diversify their funding base. The GCHA took a financial hit in 2016 when the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) began using the Grand Foundation to equitably and unbiasedly distribute funds among non-profits. These donor advised funds were awarded based on priorities and criteria established by the BOCC. Through this process, the GCHA was given $15,000 instead of the customary $50,000.
Ganne will help to create a donor base and search for additional grants. “Personally I am very interested in the business of non-profits, because they are different than regular business, but they should be run as a business… to be sustainable you have to make a profit,” says Ganne.
As an art major, Ganne also has a keen interest in the humanities which pairs nicely with the interests of GCHA. “I do have a devotion to the humanities, without humanity what is human?” she finishes philosop-ically. “Moving forward I hope to support GCHA to continue to tell the story of our community.”
She is also interested in capturing the accuracy of history as it unfolds today. “As a community we are a turning point…with Winter Park Resort being purchased it (the east end) is changing and GCHA is going to be crucial in capturing the story.”
“History also tells the story of who we are in the community today,” Ganne said referring to the World War II Prisoner of War camps in Kremmling and Fraser. “These details make up who we are today.”
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Ganne has resided in the Fraser Valley for the last 14 years where she and her partner are raising their two boys, a 10-yearold and 7-month-old. Ganne’s GCHA office is located in Hot Sulphur Springs in the centrally located Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs, and Ganne says she enjoys the drive. Almost symbolically, she says she looks forward to the opportunities for the community to gath-er.
“GCHA has an amazing social sphere… it is very welcoming and is a great volunteer experience,” Ganne also hopes to create more cohesiveness in the organizations and create equal amounts of programming and opportunities.
The GCHA incorporates the Cozens Museum in Fraser, the Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs, and the Heritage Museum in Kremmling. It also collaborates with the Emily Warner Museum in Granby as the Heritage Coalition. The Heritage Coalition of Grand County consists of the Grand Lake Area Historical Society, Grand County Historical Association, Historic Fraser, Moffat Railroad Museum and Model Railroad Club, Grand County Characters, Trail River Ranch and Grand County Tourism Board.
As she looks to the future, Ganne says, “I do see the value in the organization, and as our community grows and changes, I do believe GCHA does have a role in being, and can be, an economic driver and attraction in the community.”
She also added that the GCHA is a resource for the community to access their history and looks forward to collaborating more with Chambers and other entities to host events.