OMA Award Spotlight - Meghan Reed

Recognizing excellence in Ohio museums during Arts and Humanities Month

To help celebrate October as Arts and Humanities Month, and to kick-off the call for nominations for this year's OMA awards, we'll be highlighting our 2017 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. 

The Awards of Achievement are presented to reflect the outstanding quality and caliber of work by Ohio museums and their professionals in two categories: Institutional Achievement Awards and Individual Achievement Awards.

Nominations for these awards are incredibly detailed. This in-depth process helps to illustrate how these institutions and individuals have gone “above and beyond” the normal call of duty to support their institution, serve their public and advance the cause of the museum community.

Each year, the review panel is overwhelmed by the outstanding projects, innovative programming and dedication to our field as exhibited in each of the institutional and individual nominations. Congratulations again to each of our award winners! 

Today we'll be featuring our winner for the 2017 award for Emerging Museum Professional of the Year.

Meghan Elizabeth Reed

In 2015, the Trumbull County Historical Society hired Meghan Reed, it’s first ever employee in its 78 year history, as the organization’s part-time Director. Since starting her tenure at only 9 hours a week her first year, and increasing to full-time by 2017,  the organization has increased its budget by 70%, increased membership funds by 500% and tripled visitation to their John Stark Edwards House Museum under Meghan’s leadership.

Meghan’s drive to grow and professionalize the Trumbull County Historical Society and develop and expand community ties and relationships led to Ms. Reed spearheading the TCHS new strategic plan, the Ohio Humanities grant-funded “Voices of Trumbull County Oral History Project,” in-school programming for every 4th and 8th grader in Trumbull County Schools, neighborhood walking tours, African-American history tours and the Historic Building Recognition Program, just to name a few.

Under Meghan’s leadership, the TCHS was also awarded a Museum Assessment Program grant from the American Alliance of Museums, and most recently was selected as one of only 80 museums nation-wide for the Collections Assessment for Preservation program from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation and Historic Works and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

In addition to her duties at the historical society, Meghan a was chosen as a member of the Wean Foundation’s Advisory Council, and co-founded the Warren Historic District Alliance – an advocacy and marketing arm of Warren’s Historic District.

Ms. Reed’s demonstrated ability to lead and grow her organization, bring in new audiences, expand her museum’s footprint in her community and work with partners has created sustainable changes with an invaluable effect that will impact her organization for years to come.

Since receiving the OMA Emerging Professional of the Year award, Ms. Reed was recognized by the Board of Trumbull County Commissioners by formal resolution and received an Orchid recognition from the Tribune Chronicle.

Ms. Reed transitioned smoothly from working as a solo employee in 2017 to serving as the Director of five part-time staff and interns in 2018; managing dozens of projects and furthering the mission of the TCHS. This year, Ms. Reed managed a $500,000 grant received by the W.D. Packard Foundation for an elevator installation where she serves as Vice-President of the Board. Ms. Reed also raised funds for and managed capital improvement projects at the John Stark Edwards House.

Ms. Reed is also working on the renovation of 328 Mahoning Avenue, a historic home the TCHS is in the process of acquiring, to serve as the TCHS Cultural and Education Center. The space will include dedicated research library, a twenty-first century classroom, and a community room. In addition, the expansion will also allow the John Stark Edwards House to interpret three new rooms, previously closed to the public.

Do you know a dynamic emerging professional, helping lead the way for the future of museums?  Be sure to nominate them for the 2018 award for Emerging Professional of the Year! Learn more here.