The Butler County Historical Society will begin 2020 with a new slate of officers when the Board of Trustees meets on Thursday, January 16. Brian Smith will return for a third year as the board’s president. He is a Ross School District English teacher and is entering his sixth year as a board member. Sara Butler, Miami University Art Department Professor Emeritus, will be the new vice-president. Butler rejoined the BCHS board in 2019 and previously served as a trustee from 2011 to 2017.
Greg Young, retired superintendent of the Ross School District, will serve as board treasurer for a second year. Young served as board president for three years when he was on the board from 2007 through 2012. Patty Fawns will be the board’s secretary for a second consecutive year. She previously served as a board trustee for six years.
Returning board members are Liesl Bauer, B. Gayle Niehaus, Joanne Williamson and Katie Wright. Kathy Creighton remains the society’s Executive Director, a position she has occupied since 2010. Christina Beckett, administrative assistant, and Butch Frederick, curator of the Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers Monument, will continue in those positions.
New members of the board of trustees will be Hamilton residents Linda Benninghofen and Josh Braun, Doug Fraits of Millville and Hanover Township resident Ted Hunter. All four new members of the board are beginning their first year as trustees. Leaving the board after serving as trustees for six years are Jack Armstrong, Chris Carroll and Richard Piland.
The society’s Board of Trustees oversees the BCHS programs, exhibits, operations, and efforts to preserve and interpret Butler County’s rich heritage. During 2019, more than 10,000 people visited the society to conduct research, tour the Benninghofen House museum, attend a lecture series program, visit an exhibit, or attended a Speaker’s Bureau presentation. As a non-profit organization with no routine government support of any kind, the BCHS relies on generous volunteer and community support and financial gifts to help it continue the society’s increasingly important civic contributions to increase public awareness of the county’s past.