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The Key West Art & Historical Society’s 2014 board of directors returned Shirrel Rhoades as its president. Rhoades served as president of the board a few years ago. Rhoades will lead a board of fourteen.

Michael Gieda, executive director of the Key West Art & Historical Society, one of the Florida Keys’ oldest cultural organizations, said the board’s local make-up has a lot to do with the society’s success.

“The society has been fortunate to draw its directors through the years from a caring local community. The board of directors has provided leadership integral to the society’s on-going success. As we look to the future, each director broadens the organization’s principal mission and furthers its legacy of preserving and promoting the art and history of the Florida Keys,” Gieda said.

The mission of the society is to preserve the culture of the Florida Keys through exhibiting and displaying regional art, architecture and history for the purpose of educating the community and visiting public.

Rhoades has a fine arts degree from Stetson University and has held executive positions at Reader’s Digest, Scholastic, Marvel Entertainment and Harper’s. He is a former New York University professor.

While working in the Bahamas, Rhoades collected an oral history from the “Old Men” of Bahamian villages and published a series of historical children’s books. Later, in North Carolina, he collected Appalachian folktales and published a magazine that featured history, folklore and folk songs.

“I’m very fortunate to be following Karen Schievelbein as president,” Rhoades said. “She has done an outstanding job of setting KWAHS on course. And I’m pleased that she is remaining on the board’s executive committee as treasurer. I plan to hold steady to the course that has been set by Karen and the board. We have a solid foundation on which to build the organization, and an opportunity to further enhance the three museums’ role within the community.”

Other officers on the board are John Bollinger, first vice president; Frank Marshall, second vice president; Karen Schievelbein, treasurer, and Robert Weinbaum, secretary.

Board members include Cindy Emmet, Chuck Gilmore, Mark Hedden, George Korn, Terry Strickland, Pat Tierney, Craig Wanous and Sharon Wells. KWAHS also welcomes John Jackson on its Advisory Board.

The Key West Art & Historical Society oversees the Custom House Museum, Fort East Martello and the Lighthouse & Keeper’s Quarters.

For more information about the 2014 Board of Directors click here.