Monday, November 28, 2016 5:42PM
HarrisvilleWillett steps down from post

Linda Willett, executive director of Historic Harrisville Inc. for the past 17 years, will step down in March, 2017, and the nonprofit foundation has launched a search for her successor.

Her plans were announced at the fall meeting of Historic Harrisville Inc.

Willett came to Historic Harrisville in 1999 with a background in historic preservation at the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (Historic New England), and during her tenure in Harrisville has won more than $1 million in grants to preserve Historic Harrisville properties and managed an overall investment of nearly $6 million in the town’s National Historic Landmark District.

Under her leadership, Historic Harrisville has achieved widespread recognition as a model for combining historic preservation and economic and community development.

“Linda has overseen our evolution from an organization of well-meaning volunteers to one that has fully embraced a professional approach to historic preservation that is appropriate for the stewardship of a National Historic Landmark,” said Historic Harrisville Chairman John J. Colony III.

And her work isn’t over. In addition to ongoing duties in the management of HHI’s 14 properties and 40 commercial and residential tenants, Willett is engaged in the redevelopment of Harrisville’s hydropower facilities and the restoration of property at 119 Main St. that was acquired from the town this fall.

“We will never replace Linda,” Colony said, but Historic Harrisville is seeking a mid-career professional with a strong background in historic preservation to begin work under Willett’s tutelage in early 2017.

See historicharrisville.org for more information, including how to get involved in Historic Harrisville activities.