For Immediate Release
December 18, 2018
Leadership Transition and Fundraising Momentum at National Coast Guard Museum Association
New London, CT – At its Annual Meeting last week in Alexandria, VA, the Board of Directors of the National Coast Guard Museum Association voted unanimously to elect Board Member Susan J. Curtin as its new Chair. Curtin, who has served on the organization’s Board since 2014 replaces James J. Coleman, Jr. as he becomes Chairman Emeritus. Curtin served as a Port Security Specialist in the Coast Guard Reserve for four years. She has an extensive background in corporate sales, marketing and non-profit management. Curtin is President of the Kenrose Kitchen Table Foundation, which is the J.D. Power family foundation, headquartered in Westlake Village, CA. She is a general partner in Power Family Enterprises LP and serves on several boards and committees, including member of the board of Boston Children’s Hospital Heart Center, Trustee of the College of the Holy Cross, and the Mass Golf – Executive Committee.
“I know I speak for everyone at the Museum Association as I express my gratitude for Jimmy Coleman’s leadership, which helped us achieve the progress we have.” Curtin said, “His leadership as our first Chair paved the way for this project to proceed. This cause matters deeply to me and to my family, and I feel privileged to lead the Museum Association at a such a pivotal point.”
In addition to Curtin’s new role, the Board also unanimously elected CAPT Wes Pulver, USCG (Ret.) as the organization’s President. He has served as the Museum Association’s Executive Director since 2015 following 28 years of distinguished service to the Coast Guard and our Nation. During his service in the Coast Guard, Captain Pulver commanded three cutters and served in operational and training assignments ashore. His final tours were aboard Coast Guard Barque EAGLE, “America’s Tall Ship” as Commanding Officer from 2012 through 2015, and as Coast Guard Chief of Congressional Affairs from 2010 through 2012. Pulver replaces Richard J. Grahn, who served as President and CEO of the association for the past three and a half years.
“Working alongside Dick Grahn since I joined the Museum Association has been an honor,” Pulver commented. “His commitment to bringing the National Coast Guard Museum to fruition in New London has inspired me, and we owe him a debt of gratitude. I look forward to carrying on the great progress to ensure success.”
CDR Kevin Harkins, Ph.D., USCG (Ret.) takes up the reins as Secretary from former Connecticut State Senator, Cathy Cook, who will remain on the Board of Directors and focus her time on the formation of a regional advisory council, made up of civic and business leaders from Eastern Connecticut. Rounding out the slate of Officers on the volunteer board are ADM Robert J. Papp, USCG (Ret.) who was elected Vice Chair in August 2018, and Rear Admiral Rick Larrabee, USCG (Ret.) who has served as Treasurer since 2016.
The leadership change comes as the National Coast Guard Museum Association marks its most successful private fundraising year to date, bringing the total amount committed to $41.8 million, including $20 million from the State of Connecticut for pedestrian access and the first $5 million of an anticipated $30 million in Federal support. The future museum, to be built on the waterfront in Downtown New London, adjacent to Union Station and Cross Sound Ferry has also come into focus in 2018 with the middle phase of the building’s architectural plans, the Design Development documents, being completed last month. In the first week of December in Groton, contractors SEARCH, Inc. and AldrichPears Associates presented the 75% Schematic Design of the exhibits to the United States Coast Guard. The Exhibit Schematic Design is expected to be completed in early 2019.
“I joined the Board of Directors to be a part of the Museum effort,” Curtin said. “Given all of the recent progress we have achieved, it’s an exciting time to be assuming leadership. We have added capacity in the form of professional staff to help us achieve our objectives and raising private funds to match the government funding is our focus.”
About the National Coast Guard Museum Association
The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charitable organization with a mission to establish the future National Coast Guard Museum, which will educate, engage and inspire visitors by honoring the courage and skill of the men and women of the United States Coast Guard through a variety of artifacts, exhibits, interactive experiences, and educational programs designed to their accomplishments in the past, present and future.