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Historic Wilmington Foundation Names Next Executive Director

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jan 15, 2021
After a national search, Historic Wilmington Foundation officials have announced the hiring of Travis Gilbert as the organization's new executive director.

Gilbert will begin his full-time position with the Historic Wilmington Foundation (HWF) on Feb. 1, according to a news release. He will fill the role of current leader Beth Rutledge, who is leaving the organization at the end of the month.

Rutledge has been with HWF since December 2017.

“Despite challenging times on a global scale, our foundation continued to make tremendous progress in its mission under Beth Rutledge's great leadership," said Amanda Mason, HWF Board of Trustees president, in the release. "Travis, also, is an established and dedicated leader in our organization and community. As such, no one else is better suited to continue our progress. We are excited about the future."

Gilbert currently works as the educator and collections coordinator at Old Baldy Lighthouse, stated the release. He is also on the HWF Board of Trustees, but will resign to take on the leadership role with HWF.

He also recently began giving free historic tours on the first Sunday of the month through HWF’s Ten Tours program, officials said in the release.

Gilbert was previously the manager of the Latimer House at the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society. He has served on the boards of the Southport Historical Society and Thalian Hall. He has also been an Azalea Festival Home Tour captain and Tar Heels Go Walking tour guide.

"I am humbled and honored to serve as Historic Wilmington Foundation's next executive director," Gilbert said in the release. "For over 50 years, HWF has protected the Lower Cape Fear's irreplaceable historic resources. I have proudly contributed to this nonprofit’s success as a member, volunteer and finally, as a board member.

"Now, as HWF’s next executive director, I look forward to advocating for the inclusive preservation of our community's heritage as Wilmington navigates unprecedented growth."

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