WILLIAMSBURG, Va., August 18, 2015 – Kathy J. Spangler of Kilmarnock, a nationally recognized leader with more than 35 years of experience in public and non-profit management, most recently as vice president of Save the Children in Washington, D.C., has been named director of the 2019 Commemoration marking the 400th anniversary of four landmark events in Virginia history. In the new position, she will serve as principal liaison to the 2019 Commemoration Steering Committee.
Preliminary planning for the commemoration began in 2013 following Virginia General Assembly designation of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, which operates Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center history museums, as the official state agency for commemorating the 400th anniversary of the landmark 1619 events: the first representative legislative assembly in British America, at Jamestown; the arrival of the first recorded Africans in Virginia; recruitment of women to expand the Virginia colony; and establishment of a precedent for Thanksgiving in America at Berkeley Hundred.
The 2019 Commemoration Steering Committee, co-chaired by Virginia Senator Thomas K. Norment and Delegate M. Kirkland Cox, and comprised of state government representatives and individuals affiliated with historical and educational organizations, is successor to a task force appointed in 2013 to identify initial goals and planning strategies of the commemoration. Roundtables at the Virginia Historical Society in October 2013 and Hampton University in December 2014 involved more than 40 groups in discussing overall themes, partnerships, and potential and ongoing initiatives, such as the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities “1619: The Making of America” series. The Steering Committee held its inaugural meeting at the Virginia State Capitol in December 2014.
“Ms. Spangler will have a key role in assisting the Steering Committee in moving forward with creating working groups and developing programs,” said H. Benson Dendy III, chairman of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. “The 2019 commemoration provides the Commonwealth with opportunities to expand economic and tourism initiatives, as well as programs and events with national and international appeal to educate the public on the importance of Virginia in the creation of the United States.”
As vice president of Save the Children from 2010 to 2015, Ms. Spangler led the organization’s U.S. Programs, including Head Start. She served in several executive roles from 2007 to 2010 at America’s Promise Alliance, where she oversaw the 100 Best Communities for Young People national recognition program. Four years as founding director of National Partnerships capped her 20-year tenure, from 1987 to 2007, at the National Recreation and Park Association. She worked as a recreation supervisor and coordinator in New Hampshire from 1979 to 1987.
Ms. Spangler earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and achieved the Certified Association Executive credential. She has received numerous awards, including an honorary doctoral degree in 2003 from the University of Maine, and has extensive experience in event and conference planning and presentation. She created and led the execution of Sports Illustrated’s 50th Anniversary Sportstown Celebration, a yearlong recognition of the Sportstown in each state, and was co-creator of First Night New Hampshire, the fourth First Night nationwide and the first statewide celebration.
“Ms. Spangler’s experience will be invaluable as we look to engage key organizations and build public-private partnerships to ensure a successful commemoration that reaches a broad national audience,” Delegate Cox said on behalf of the 2019 Commemoration Steering Committee leadership. “She will work closely with historical, educational and tourism organizations and individuals to maximize opportunities related to the commemorative period.”
Ms. Spangler’s office is located at Jamestown Settlement.
“We are pleased to welcome Kathy Spangler and look forward to working with her over the next five years,” said Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Executive Director Philip G. Emerson, “building on the success of America’s 400th Anniversary in 2007, for which the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation was the lead state agency.”
For more information about the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, visit hif.ciniva.net.