The Northfield Historical Society has announced that Executive Director Hayes Scriven will step down on February 28 to become the new executive director of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior, Wisconsin, which honors Wisconsin native and Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Richard Bong.

“Hayes’ leadership has energetically upheld the Northfield Historical Society’s place as one of the preeminent local history organizations in Minnesota,” says Board President Sarah Beimers. “He has made a name for himself in the state as a highly regarded professional and emerging leader in the field of local history and museum management. We are sad to see him go, but can appreciate why he caught the attention of our colleagues in Wisconsin.”

“Hayes has a gift for making people excited about local history,” adds board member Lisa Peterson. “We’re happy for the new audiences that will enjoy his unique program and event ideas.”

Scriven was first hired by the society in 2005 as the exhibits and education coordinator. After a year of developing the society’s rotating exhibits and working with youth programs, he was offered and accepted the executive director post.

Under Scriven’s leadership, the society has been awarded nearly $450,000 through the Minnesota Historical Society’s Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant (“Legacy”) program. These grants facilitated the construction of an elevator and six ADA-compliant restrooms, and the installation of compact archival shelving — all at the society’s downtown Northfield Scriver Building. The grants also have allowed the society to hire professional staff in order to complete several curatorial projects.

“Legacy funds have been a game-changer for us,” says Scriven. “I always thought it would take at least 20 years for us to expand the way we have in the past decade.” And although the compact shelving might not seem significant, Scriven considers its installation to be one of his most important accomplishments. “If you can’t store history properly, you are not fulfilling your mission,” he says.

Scriven also was a driving force for securing official support for the society from the City of Northfield.

“I have not operated on my own at NHS,” Scriven says. “I was fortunate to surround myself with some very talented people and we got a lot done. We would not be where we are today without our board members, volunteers, and staff.”