HistoryMiami names leadership team to guide new phase of expansion

HistoryMiami recently announced that its board of trustees has named a team of executives to lead it in a critical new phase of development.

“Hiring a leadership ‘team’ of senior executives is a bold move and a clear reflection of our board’s resolve to move HistoryMiami to prominence in the city’s cultural community,” said Faith Mesnekoff, chair of the HistoryMiami Board of Trustees. “HistoryMiami will meet our region’s need for an institution that tells the stories with skill and passion.”

Ramiro A. Ortiz, a well-known South Florida business leader, has become president and CEO, and Stuart A. Chase, an experienced museum executive with a distinguished record of management and community involvement, is serving as museum director and chief operating oficer, effective Mar. 4.

Dr. Michael N. Rosenberg, immediate past chair of the HistoryMiami Board of Trustees and chair of the Search Committee, said, “Ramiro and Stuart bring a combination of expertise, vision and commitment that will be critical to our success. As a team, they will accelerate the development of HistoryMiami — both physically and programmatically — and lead us in fulfilling our mission to make the past and future of our city accessible to all Miamians and visitors.”

As president/CEO, Ortiz will lead HistoryMiami and provide the strategic direction and management to guide the institution and the Cultural Plaza expansion and revitalization. Working closely with Ortiz, Chase will enhance and manage daily operations and programs.

“These are exciting times for cultural organizations in Miami-Dade County, and I am enthused about the opportunity to lead HistoryMiami,” Ortiz said. “I am confident that with the support of the community, the board of trustees, the new museum director and our loyal staff, we can raise the profile of HistoryMiami as one of the most relevant cultural, civic, and educational institutions in Miami-Dade County.”

Prior to joining HistoryMiami, Ortiz was president and COO of BankUnited and SunTrust Bank Miami and has over 40 years of banking experience and civic involvement in South Florida.

“I look forward to the unlimited opportunities that lie ahead for HistoryMiami and engaging with the energy of the South Florida region,”Chase said. “I am determined to continue to strengthen our community relationships and utilize the unique collections, exhibitions and programs at HistoryMiami to provide a solid foundation to further serve residents, South Florida visitors and museum guests, with some new twists and turns as we share the unique stories of our special heritage.”

Chase is an accomplished chief executive and community leader. Most recently, he served as CEO at 1Berkshire Inc. and its affiliates, the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, the Berkshire Visitors Bureau and Berkshire Creative Economy Council, in order to advance economic growth and development in the Berkshires.

The news of the appointments comes at a pivotal time in the institution’s growth. HistoryMiami is poised to expand into the facility being vacated by the Miami Art Museum at the end of the year and, in the near future, create a structure joining the two. The project also includes: revitalizing the plaza; renovating the two existing buildings; developing new permanent exhibitions; expanding collections storage space; adding more classroom spaces for school and camp programs; enhancing public areas of the Archives and Research Center and enlarging temporary exhibitions spaces. The HistoryMiami footprint will expand from 40,000 to 100,000 square feet and will include a new main entrance, atrium, retail store and theater.

Visit online at www.historymiami.org.

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