Photos courtesy of William Raser
Jennifer Harrison – Chair
Jennifer Harrison moved from England to Denver, CO with her husband Mike and three young children in 1980. She taught math at the junior high school and completed a master’s degree with an emphasis on secondary mathematics at the University of Colorado. After eight years in the mountains the family was transferred to Gainesville FL where she continued to teach mathematics. Jennifer obtained a Ph. D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Florida 1992.
Susan Martin has had a home on Amelia Island since 2004, but moved here permanently in 2009 and is married to Bob Dudiak, who owns a small business in Cocoa Beach. Susan also has two sons, Eric and Chris. She has a B.A. degree in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College in Vermont, an M.S. degree in Resource Economics from the University of New Hampshire and an M.S. degree in Management from MIT. Susan started at Standard Oil of Ohio in Cleveland in Corporate Planning, but found Big Oil in the early 80s was not ready for either MBAs or women. She quickly moved to McKinsey & Company, where 7 years of 70-hour weeks and worldwide travel, while exciting, was not consistent with raising her two sons. Her third job was with her final McKinsey client, Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, as VP of Professional Services. While there, she served on the Boards of the Clifton Childcare Center, which served the CDC, Emory University and Egleston Children’s Hospital, as well as the Board of the Emory Federal Credit Union, which served Emory University and Egleston Children’s Hospital, serving two terms as Treasurer. Susan has been skiing since the age of 2 and is co-chair of the Amelia Island Mad Paddlers. She also serves on the Fitness Committee and the Membership Enrichment Committee of the Amelia Island Plantation Equity Club.
After a 25 year career of running marketing for large banking organizations, Joe moved to Amelia Island. He now does consulting for clients in the financial and entertainment industries. Joe has an accounting degree from Notre Dame and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He became active in the Museum soon after he moved here from Los Angeles 10 years ago. He conceived and wrote the Pirate Talk and the Ghost Tour, which have become popular money makers for the Museum. His goal each year is to make the Museum financially stronger than the year before through diligent budgeting, fundraising and cost control.
Rob and his wife Shelia moved to Fernandina Beach from Virginia Beach, VA ten years ago after his wife’s retirement from the Department of the Navy. Several years prior to her retirement, he had retired with thirty years of service in the Federal Government, the last eighteen with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the chief of their facilities and logistics division in Norfolk. Rob graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1969 with BAs in Journalism and English. He received an MS in Business Finance from George Washington University in 1979, and an Associate Financial Planner designation from the College of Financial Planning in 1984. After settling into his Fernandina Beach community, Rob became actively involved in volunteer work within his neighborhood and on the Island. Joining the board of his homeowner’s association, he served as secretary in 2009 and 2010 and president in 2011 and 2012. In 2011 he volunteered to serve on the board of the condominium association where he owns a rental unit, and has served as treasurer for that organization ever since. Rob and his wife have been deeply involved with the Amelia Community Theatre since 2010 where they were named ACT’s volunteer of the year (2014). In 2015 he became a member of the board of directors and, in 2016, treasurer. Rob has also been deeply involved with the Amelia Island Museum of History. In 2010 he became a committee member of the golf tournament and continues to work on this committee. In 2013, he assisted in the construction of the children’s ship exhibit. He also began developing his cooking skills, serving as a cook for the Museum during the Shrimp Festival. He has continued to refine these skills over the years and hopes to continue to display his culinary talent this year. In 2015, Rob’s love of history spurred him to volunteer to become a walking tour guide for the Museum. He is now participating as a guide for the Centre Street Walking Tour and the Pub Crawl. He is hoping to become competent enough to conduct both North and South Fernandina Walking Tours this spring.
Having graduated with a History degree, Trish Dooley has come full circle since her days at Mississippi State University. She spent her career in Atlanta in high-tech sales and marketing before transferring those skills to the non-profit world as a development professional in the healthcare field. When she moved to Fernandina Beach in 2005, she rekindled her love of history by becoming involved with the Amelia Island Museum of History where she has served as chairman of History Alive! 2008, the spring fundraiser and as co-chair of the Holiday Home Tour 2009 as well as a Board Member.
Berta Arias – Berta Isabel Arias, Ed.D., received her degree in Leadership in Educational Policy Studies from Northern Illinois University. She is currently a published writer and lecturer. Previously, Dr. Arias was a Professor at Joliet Junior College where she earned many honors and retired as Professor Emeritus in World Languages & International Education. She is the founding President for the Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education. She also has acted as a consultant for colleges in developing grant proposals for world languages and international studies as well as for the 1990 DePaul University/Universidad de El Salvador USAID Project for Economic Development. In addition, Dr. Arias wrote and directed four U.S. Dept. of Education Title VI Grants totaling over $1,000,000.
Peggy Bulger – Dr. Peggy A. Bulger was Florida’s first State Folklorist, serving the Florida Folklife Program from 1976 to 1989, and she created the Florida Folklife Collection at the State Archives in Tallahassee. Bulger served as Folk Arts Director and Senior Program Officer for Southern Arts Federation in Atlanta, GA (1989-1999) where she created regional folk arts programming for nine states in the southeast. She then was chosen to be the Director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, in charge of the largest ethnographic collection in the world and managing national programs in folklife and cultural heritage. In January of 2012, retiring after serving 13 years at the LOC, Peggy and her husband (Doug Leatherbury) moved to Fernandina Beach where she is active in folk heritage programs and cultural activities on the local, state and national level. She is excited to be part of the AIMH board and contribute to the excellent talent and expertise of the staff and other board members.
Paul Condit – Paul retired in 1997, after 28 years, from Eastman Kodak and moved to Amelia Island from Rochester, New York, with his wife Carol, in 2000. In addition to being on the Museum Board, he is active in the Friends of Fernandina Aviation and volunteers at the local hospital.
Tarah Dunlop – Tarah earned her degree at Illinois State University. Since moving to the island in 2011 she has served the museum in a volunteer capacity as a greeter, gift shop manager, member of the golf tournament committee, Holiday Home Tour volunteer, and member of the Children’s Interactive Boat installation committee. She continuously works to increase community and tourist awareness of the Museum and believes that her community connections with individuals and businesses combined with experience and passion for local history and the Museum would be a great asset to the Board. Tarah currently works as Marketing Director for Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, which is owned by her husband. She is also a blogger at Tarahcoastal.com highlighting Amelia Island. She has committed extensive efforts to promote non-profits, The Arts, and the Fernandina Community including most recently an event with The Book Loft and Amelia Island Indie Authors and community bbq honoring First Responders after Hurricane Matthew. Tarah is currently working with Billy Burbank III with preservation and promotion of the Burbank Family history (see Burbanktrawlmakers on Instagram for picture preservation efforts).
Born and raised in the Old Town section of Fernandina, Neil’s mother was Serena Traeye – a family that can be traced in this area back to the 1700s. He has a wife, Joyce Adams Frink, and son Sharif Adams Frink and daughter-in-law Dania who live in Haywood, CA. Neil lived for a number of years in South Jersey and Philadelphia. He was employed for 31 years and retired from the automotive industry, The Budd Company Thyssen Krupp. In 1996 he moved back to Fernandina, working for the Amelia Island Plantation for 17 years and entering his second retirement in 2013. Neil is a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal and of the FLAJAX Club as well as President of the A.L. Lewis Historical Society and the Peck High Alumni Assoc. He attended St. Peter Claver, Peck High School, Bethune-Cookman College, and the Apprentice School for Industrial Management (The Budd Company).
Rob Hicks – Rob Hicks is a native of Amelia Island. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2001, and returned to teach Television Productions and English at Fernandina Beach High School, his alma mater. He now works as a guidance counselor at the school. While teaching TV Productions, Hicks and his students produced a feature length documentary about the history of Amelia Island with the museum. In addition he has written four books about the history of Amelia Island and three more about other southern locales. He serves on the board of the Duncan Lamont Clinch Historical Society and the Nassau County Gator Club. His wife, Kim, is also a local native and educator and the couple attends St. Peters Episcopal Church along with their two young children.
Edgar Johnson is a native of Jacksonville, attending Ribault Senior High School. Before moving to Amelia Island in 2005, he spent a 34 year career in R&D with the Federal government directing a behavioral science laboratory for the U.S. Army followed by 3 years in a halfway house for retired government employees, The Institute for Defense Analyses. He quickly became involved in the Amelia Island Museum of History as a docent, walking tour guide, interviewer and trustee; he does not do windows. Consults in areas of applied psychology. Loves living on the Island, but dislikes the summer heat, especially in August.
Jerry and Susie Kawecki moved to Amelia Island in 1996 from Hawaii via New York State. Immersing themselves in the community, Susie became a street walker (docent) and greeter for AMIH. Jerry a retired Air Force Colonel and pilot, joined the Civil Air Patrol and spent seven years as the Commander. Jerry’s’ support of AMIH started with the renovation of the second floor, where he cajoled and organized the “Mighty Men” to build a library and renovate Burns Hall. When part of the Florida State Grant for expansion was withdrawn, Jerry stepped in with his “Mighty Men” and completed the project; painting, tiling, and building a gift shop. Currently President of the Friends of Fernandina Aviation, promoting aviation awareness in Nassau schools plus raising funds for scholarships. A graduate of the Naval War College , his 28 years of military service spans being a B-52 Command Pilot to staff and command billets dealing with Command & Control, Execution of Nuclear Weapons and reconstitution of the government in event of a nuclear attack. Jerry’s proudest accomplishments is having the claim of being father to three fabulous young women, Liz, Cappy and Susie.
I have been a patent lawyer, representing and opposing some of the brightest, oddest and meanest people on this planet. I have been an entrepreneur, with a record of spectacular successes and astounding failures. I have been an educator and teacher. And, while I am still a bit of each of the above, I am now mostly a local historian and Amelia Island History Museum enthusiast.
Judy is well known to the Museum community. She is a frequent a greeter, a Museum Madam and was Co-chair of Christmas on Centre Preview Party for two years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of South Carolina and a Masters of Science in Library Science from Florida State University. She is very active in community service including: two term member and Chairman, Jacksonville Public Library Board of Trustees; member of the first Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women.; member, Amelia Plantation Chapel, Chair of Altar Guild 2000-2005. Worship Chair and Chapel Secretary for the Governing Board of the Chapel, 2006-2008; and Syndicated Ladies of Amelia Island Investment Club, 2000-present. Secretary 2001-2003, President 2004-2005.
William Tilson is the knowledgeable smith behind the scale model depicting the original settlement of Fernandina circa 1821, which holds a place in our front lobby. He is Assistant Dean for International Studies and Service Learning and Professor of Architecture at the University of Florida. Tilson has been lead researcher and consultant on numerous projects for historic sites and communities throughout the region, as well as Antigua, Barbados, Yucatán, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Bahamas, Trinidad, Tobago, and Miami. Locally, Tilson has worked as a consultant for the City of Fernandina Beach on numerous projects: he established design guidelines for Old Town and the Waterfront Community Development Area and new preservation guidelines for Fernandina Beach.