Hanstad named to top museum
by Lenny Roberts
Rae Hanstad said her new job as executive director of the
Ojai Valley Museum will not be in conflict with her elected position
as Ojai City Councilwoman, and is excited about taking on the
position vacated by Robin Sim. She will take over the reins June
"Rae is the perfect person for this job because of her keen
interest in the museum and the history of the Ojai Valley,"
Sim said. "She's familiar with the workings of the museum
through her position on the collections committee."
Sim, the museum's executive director since November 1999, has
been hired by Marine Project Management, of Ojai, as a project
manager. She leaves a legacy of helping to raise substantial
funds for operating the museum and its exhibits, and a great
working experience with museum volunteers.
"It's very fortunate that the city of Ojai has faith in
the museum board and its volunteers to grant us a one-time stipend
last year" Sims said. "Also, the community has always
supported the museum and Mrs. Jimmi Clapp gave us a $50,000 donation."
Sim agreed that a contributing factor to her being hired for
the job in 1999 was her ability to raise funds, but would not
accept credit for the museum's success during her tenure.
"I'm not directly responsible for raising the money. It
was a team effort, and we could not have done it without the
volunteers, many of whom are from Help of Ojai," she said.
"We have such a fine group of volunteers. They're like family
members and I will miss them tremendously. I hope to come back
as a volunteer when Rae tells me what she'd like me to do."
Hanstad, a museum volunteer for the past year, said she doesn't
remember ever not wanting the job of museum's executive director.
"I think I'm going to follow in Robin's footsteps and spend
a lot of time getting to know all the volunteers and talking
with the community about the museum," she said.
Hanstad confirmed that she will not be leaving her seat on the
City Council, and has conferred with City Attorney Monte Widders
about a possible conflict of interest issue.
"Almost every issue that comes before the council relates
back to Ojai's cultural heritage and tradition, and this is where
it's all kept," she said.
The last time around, Hanstad was runner-up to Sim. Monday, Hanstad
described Sim as the better candidate of the two, to which Sim
replied, "I think it's wonderful that you got the job."
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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SIM AND RAE HANSTAD share a light moment Monday, as Sim brings
Hanstad up to speed on running the Ojai Valley Museum.