New leadership at Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation announced Tuesday its executive director will leave the organization this fall. "I have cherished...

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation announced Tuesday its executive director will leave the organization this fall.

“I have cherished my tenure with the Trust but feel the time is right for me to explore new opportunities in preservation,” wrote Executive Director Jennifer Meisner in an e-mail to colleagues and friends. Meisner will leave the Trust on Sept. 30 after nearly eight years at the organization. “Historic preservation remains my passion so I know our paths will continue to cross as I make the transition to project-based work.”

Washington Trust Field Director Chris Moore will succeed Meisner as the organization’s leader.

“The strength of every organization resides in its people, and Chris Moore has been a huge part of statewide historic preservation advocacy since he joined the Trust in 2005,” said Washington Trust Board President David Strauss. “During his years as Field Director, Chris has become the face of the Washington Trust in communities across the state, enabling barn rehabilitations for people who previously may not have known they were preservationists, steering the renovation program for county courthouses, and being a calm voice for preservation on numerous challenging issues. His knowledge of the organization, historic preservation advocacy and the political landscape are central to the Trust’s identity.”

“There are so many exciting opportunities on the horizon for the Trust and I am thrilled to be leaving the organization in Chris’ highly capable hands,” added Mesiner. “With support from our engaged Board of Directors, talented staff and dedicated members, Chris will surely take the Trust and preservation in Washington State to new heights!”

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit organization that aims to protect Washington State’s historic places through advocacy, education, collaboration, and stewardship. The organization was established in 1976.

The Tacoma Daily Index has featured Meisner, Moore, and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation’s work in Tacoma and Pierce County. In 2008, the Index interviewed Meisner about the organization’s annual list of endangered historic properties. Over the years, the list has included historic properties in Tacoma and Pierce County, such as Pacific National Bank Building / Luzon Building (Tacoma) — listed in 1992, demolished in 2009; Japanese Language School (Tacoma) — listed in 1993, demolished in 2004;Elks Building (Tacoma) — listed in 2003; First United Methodist Church (Tacoma) — listed in 2006, demolished in 2007; Murray Morgan Bridge (Tacoma) — listed in 2008; Kelley Farm (Bonney Lake) — listed in 2006; Historic Commercial Fishing Net Sheds (Gig Harbor) — listed in 2008; Fort Steilacoom (Lakewood) — listed in 2006; Sunrise Lodge (Mount Rainier National Park) — listed in 1992, saved in 1996; Balch House (Steilacoom) — listed in 1993, saved in 1994; Nathaniel Orr House (Steilacoom) — listed in 1996, saved in 1999; Fleischmann’s Yeast Plant (Sumner) — listed in 2007, demolished in 2010; Curran House(University Place) — listed in 2009; Old City Hall (Tacoma) — listed in 2011; McMillin Bridge (Orting / Pierce County) — listed in 2011; McNeil Island Prison (Pierce County) — listed in 2011; and St. Nicholas Church (Gig Harbor) — listed in 2013. In 2009, the organization was the focus of a long feature article in this newspaper. Most recently, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation nominated the McMillin Bridge to Pierce County’s historic register.

More information is available online at preservewa.org.

Washington Trust for Historic Preservation Executive Director Jennifer Meisner. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengers; third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright; and second-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State. His work has also appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.

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