Greg Kneser, president of the Northfield Historical Society Board of Directors, has announced that Cathy Osterman will serve as interim executive director. Osterman has worked at the society since 2012, most recently as part-time curator.
“We’re excited that Cathy has accepted this role,” Kneser says. “Finding the right person for a leadership position like this can be a challenge, so the board was pleased to learn that Cathy was not only interested in running the NHS, but also very qualified for the role.”
Osterman will fill in for Hayes Scriven, who will vacate his post as executive director at the end of this month to become the new executive director of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior, Wisconsin. Osterman’s interim status means that the board will evaluate her performance later this year in order to determine if her executive director status should be made permanent.
Since earning her B.A. degree at Bemidji State University, where she majored in history and minored in social studies and anthropology, Osterman has worked and volunteered at a variety of historic sites in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. After working for the Minnesota Historical Society in its library and at the Alexander Ramsey House, she became curator at the Dakota City Heritage Village in Farmington, Minnesota.
In 2004 she became registrar of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where her duties included caring for the 75,000-item collection, forging donor relationships, assisting with exhibit development and program planning, and assisting with grant writing. She was named curator after two years, and then later worked for the State of Wyoming at the Historic Governors’ Mansion.
Osterman’s duties at NHS have included updating the collections policy and creating a disaster response plan, supervising the cataloging of the City of Northfield collection, developing exhibits, managing local students in the SCOPE and Junior Curator programs, and creating an on-site program designed to meet social studies standards for third-graders.
“Looking at all that Cathy has done for our organization shows just how much moving into this role is a win for everyone,” Kneser says.