New Washington Museum Association president

Kittitas County Historical Museum Director Sadie Thayer has been appointed as the new Washington Museum Association president.

There are 700 Heritage Associations and museums in Washington state alone, but when it came time to select the new president of the Washington Museum Association one name rose above.

Kittitas County Historical Museum Director Sadie Thayer has been selected to serve as the WaMA president for the next two years.

“Our History Museum is lucky to have Sadie as its director. Her qualifications and devotion to our community are just two of the many positive attributes she brings to her work here,” said Kittitas County board member Curtis Bull, who has worked on several projects with Thayer. “She deals efficiently and effectively with the many issues that make up the complicated and demanding environment of the Historical Society.”

Thayer said she has several ideas and goals she hopes to achieve during her two-year leadership role as WaMa president.

“I would like to bring more staff working an connection to all of the museums across the state,” Thayer said. “We want to grow the organization with outreach and support through better networking. We want to be able to recognized the efforts of all areas of the state and not just one area.”

Thayer attended the WaMA annual conference for professional development each year since 2010, and coordinated the organization’s conference when it was hosted in Ellensburg in 2013. She was elected to WaMA Board of Directors in 2015, where she has served on the membership and conference committees. This experience allows her to bring her educational background, in history, anthropology and museum studies, along with her 14-plus years of hands-on experience to supporting museums across the state.

“I’ve been serving on the board for a number of years and kept growing in my responsibility capacity,” she said. “Two years ago, I moved into a leadership role as a vice president.

“As a first vice president, it was a matter of stepping up when the previous president’s term was up.”

Thayer became the Kittitas County Museum director in 2010 and has overseen many changes around the museum, from new exhibits to collaborations with a variety of local, regional and statewide organizations.

She has increased the outreach and support of the museum, including doubling the annual attendance to over 8,000 visitors annually and establishing an annual lecture series with eight to 10 high-quality and interesting presentations. The museum has many temporary and permanent exhibits, including the recently installed Neon Sign exhibit, and holds more than 17,000 artifacts and 10,000 photographs.

In 2018, the museum installed 136 solar panels in an effort to connect the future to the past as the organization works to increase longevity.

The Washington Museum Association (WaMA) was established in 1980 in Ellensburg and encourages the use and development of the highest professional standards for museums and museum professionals.

To learn more about the Washington Museum Association, visit http://washingtonmuseumassociation.org.

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