Looking for Lincoln Interviews
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Looking for Lincoln Interviews
Cheryl Kennedy began her working career at the Champaign County Forest Preserve District as the program coordinator at the Early American Museum, which was later renamed the Museum of the Grand Prairie. Cheryl was the Director of the Museum of the Grand Prairie from 1985-2012. While working in that capacity, she also served on the Illinois Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition Board from 2006-2013 and the Champaign County Lincoln Bicentennial Commission from 2007-2008.
Laura Marks, a banker from Jacksonville, Illinois, was inspired by Abraham Lincoln's life story and founded the Jacksonville Looking for Lincoln Committee in 2005 just prior to the opening of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois. She became a Looking for Lincoln board member in 2009 and continues to serve on the board of directors of the organization.
Tom Martin is one of the founding members of Looking for Lincoln. He attended the first organization meeting in 1997 and served on the executive board throughout his tenure with Looking for Lincoln. He was an active member of the organization from 1997 to 2007, and held various roles on the executive board, including vice chairman and chairman. He played a vital role in the creation of the organization, its early projects and in the advocacy efforts to have Congress designate the region as the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.
Hal Smith had been involved both in politics and the private sector for decades before he became the executive director of the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition in February 2008. He served in that post until December 2010. Smith discusses the importance of the Lincoln Heritage Coalition and reviewed its accomplishments during his tenure as the executive director.
Kay Smith was the IHPA's Bicentennial Coordinator in charge of managing and coordinating all of the events held to commemorate the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth on February 12th, 2009. During her two years as Bicentennial Coordinator, Smith worked with the Illinois Bicentennial Commission to help distribute one and a half million dollars worth of grant money to communities around Illinois that hosted Bicentennial events. In addition, she worked with numerous federal, state, and local agencies to ensure that the Bicentennial celebration went smoothly.
Mary Truitt is one of the founding members of the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition. She was appointed by the mayor of Vandalia to represent the community, and served on the Looking for Lincoln Steering Committee. She was also appointed to the Vandalia Tourism Commission. She has been continuously involved with Looking for Lincoln since 1997 and is currently representing Vandalia on the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area Steering Council.
Marcia Young is one of the founding members of Looking for Lincoln which began in 1998, where she served on the steering committee and board of directors. After the Looking for Lincoln board of directors was restructured in 2013, Marcia became a member of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area Steering Council. She has been involved with Looking for Lincoln from its inception to the time of this interview, and shares her reflections on the organization’s history and the journey of the organization from a state heritage tourism demonstration project to the designation of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.