Advancement Manager at Western Reserve Historical Society
What do you do at WRHS?
As Advancement Manager, my job is to share ways people can help WHRS deliver the dynamic history of Northeast Ohio. Everyone has a story to tell and at WRHS we show how these stories have shaped generations.
Why is history important to you?
Everyone has a story to tell and at WRHS we show how these stories have shaped generations.
Do you have a favorite figure from history that motivates you?
Two extraordinary historical figures inspired me as a child: Madame Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart! Madame Curie was born in 1867, the same year that WRHS was founded. A brilliant scientist, Curie was the first female recipient of the Noble Prize and the first person to win it twice—once in Physics and then in Chemistry. Aviator Amelia Earhart broke flying records and promoted aviation with her charisma, easy smile, and flying ability. Earhart visited Cleveland many times in the late 1920s and 1930s for the National Air Races. Both women pushed the boundaries of their day.
Why History Matters:
History when I was growing up was weekly trips to the local library, visiting museums, and listening to stories at the dinner table. Today, history is available at the touch of a keyboard. However, the digital age cannot replicate the sensation of strolling through a historic mansion, riding on a century-old carousel, or experiencing the thrill of seeing a WWII fighter plane parked in front of you. How people remember and engage with history is what defines the world we live in today. I come from a strong line of women who first arrived in colonial Massachusetts (1630). They wound their way to Ohio and then branched into Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. These women were determined and hardworking, whether as a cook for a logging camp, a teacher in a rural school, or helping run a dairy farm. These remarkable women—their work and values passed down in family stories—are a part of my personal history and make me who I am today.
Cassandra began in the Education Department, teaching programs to school groups and speaking on Cleveland history topics to the local community. Cassandra now works to increase the museum’s engagement with supporters and works on special events, including behind-the-scenes programs. Cassandra grew up outside of Chicago but has called the Cleveland area home for almost 20 years. After graduating from Georgetown University, she spent her career working in philanthropy and local organizing. Speaking of her work with WRHS, Cassandra says, “I was raised by philanthropic-minded parents, and it’s wonderful to work in a region that supports nonprofits as much as Northeast Ohio does.”