Annapolis, Maryland — Historic Annapolis, a nationally-known preservation non-profit, today announced a succession in leadership to advance its core mission of protecting and sharing the legacy of one of America’s founding cities.
Karen Theimer Brown immediately assumes the position of President and CEO of Historic Annapolis, serving as the day-to-day leader of the organization. Previously Senior Vice President of Preservation, Brown’s promotion builds on six years of her demonstrated leadership at HA and a growing presence in community affairs. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the change of leadership Wednesday.
Brown takes over from Robert C. Clark, whose role will shift to Executive Chairman of the organization. The leader and public face of Historic Annapolis for a decade, Clark has overseen a tremendous period of growth recently capped with the opening of the Museum of Historic Annapolis and its permanent exhibition, Annapolis: An American Story.
As the head of the Preservation Division at Historic Annapolis, Ms. Brown has more than 20 years of experience in the preservation field. She previously led the organization's policy, advocacy, and preservation planning initiatives, which include historic easements and markers, the archaeology program, and various property management responsibilities. Brown was the lead staffer for HA’s involvement in the City Dock redevelopment effort and the Founding Freedoms exhibition at the Maryland State House.
She is a past commissioner of the Annapolis Historic Preservation Commission and is currently serving on the Annapolis Heritage Commission. Brown also served on the board of the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions and the Annapolis City Dock Advisory and Action Committees, and is a recent graduate of the Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship Program. Prior to joining the staff at Historic Annapolis, she worked for the President's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for close to a decade, and the City of Annapolis Preservation Division.
"I love this organization and this town that I call my home," said Brown. “I am very proud to work alongside such wonderful colleagues to uphold our role as a leader in historic preservation, to protect the city's character, and to connect the public with Annapolis' history. I am excited to help lead HA forward.”
Historic Annapolis also announced the addition of Traci Ramsey to its leadership team as VP of Advancement. Ramsey comes to HA with over 20 years of professional fundraising experience. Most recently, she served as the Director of Development at Indian Creek School for 16 years. Prior to that she served as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Ramsey is respected for her skills as a relationship builder and strategic thinker and has great expertise working to create connections within the community which will help to advance the organization’s mission. Along with Clark, Ramsey will work to secure a solid financial future for the organization.
"Robert Clark and his team have led HA to new heights over the past 10 years, increasing HA’s visibility considerably," said Jim Reid, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. "Our organization is seizing this momentum by naming Robert to his new role, promoting Karen Brown to President and CEO, and adding Traci Ramsey to the leadership team as VP of Advancement.”
In his new role as Executive Chairman, Clark will focus solely on the critical areas of fundraising, community engagement, and government relations. After serving on the Board of Trustees for two years, Clark became President and CEO of Historic Annapolis in October of 2012. A sixth-generation Marylander, he built a securities and marketing executive career with E. F. Hutton, Paine Webber, and UBS Wealth Management. Throughout his tenure as President, Clark has been known as a visionary and has embarked on major initiatives with great enthusiasm, from the multi-year restoration of the James Brice House to the opening of the Museum of Historic Annapolis, and the growth of major fundraising events.
“The future of Historic Annapolis is bright,” said Clark. “As we continue to heighten the organization’s visibility, I’m looking forward to working to advance the cause of this organization which is central to both the fabric of Annapolis and preservation of the history of the United States.”