Governance

The Beaufort History Museum is run by a volunteer Board, which has custody, and provides control and direction to the museum and its collections.  Board members serve three-year terms, and are (re)elected at each Annual Meeting.

Our Mission is "To preserve, promote, and interpret the experiences of our past that influence us now and in the future."

Feel free to read or download the following:

For Financial Reports or questions, please contact Finance@BeaufortHistoryMuseum.com

Board Members




Kathryn Sommerville Mixon, Board President

Kathy is a fifth generation Beaufortonian. She says, “At an early age I learned to love, appreciate, value and protect the community my family (Sommerville/Christensen) has been instrumental in building since the mid 1800s.” Kathy is multi-talented—she is an artist, educator, real estate broker, businesswoman, banker and civic leader. She earned a BA in Fine Arts, Studio with a minor in Education from the College of Charleston, South Carolina in 1979 and her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina in 1996.

Kathy served as President of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Fort Fremont and was the Design Committee Chair for Beaufort County’s project to build a History Center at Fort Fremont’s site. She is also a Board Member of the Friends of Whitehall Park, Beaufort’s Cultural District Advisory Board, and Beaufort Preservation Board. In addition, she is an active member of several local and historical organizations.

As president, Kathy oversees the Museum’s board of directors, docent activities, growth and management. She is presently working with the all committees to plan the second phase of the Museum’s main Exhibit Hall renovation and giving the museum greater exposure through numerous events.

For enjoyment, she cooks, sews, and paints in oils. She is also a master gardner. Kathy has two adult sons—both live here in Beaufort. 

Kathy was elected to Board Vice President in February 2020 and Board President in February 2022.



John Warley, Board Vice President

John Warley is a native of Florence, S.C. He attended The Citadel on a football scholarship and graduated in the class of 1967. After taking his law degree from the University of Virginia, he served in the army, spent two years in Washington, D.C. as staff counsel to a trade association, then moved to Newport News, Virginia, where he practiced law for 21 years and helped raise four children. In 2005, he and his late wife, Barbara, moved to Beaufort, South Carolina, where he lives today. He retired from the practice of law in 2011 and is currently a full time writer.

Though law was his profession, writing became his passion in the late 1980s. After a favorable response to his first novel, Bethesda’s Child, he took a two year sabbatical in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to write his second novel, A Southern Girl. Mexico also presented him with the chance to teach. He accepted a professorship at Tecnol√≥gico de Monterrey, often called the “MIT of Mexico,” where he taught U.S. Business Law to bilingual juniors and seniors. That teaching experience inspired him to participate in USCB’s OLLI program in Beaufort, where his online history lectures have been viewed thousands of times.

He is the award-winning author of five published novels: A Southern Girl, Bethesda’s Child, The Moralist, The Moralist II and The Home Guard. This last title, The Home Guard, is historical fiction set in Beaufort during the Civil War, the research for which contributed to his appreciation for this unique town. He also wrote a history of The Citadel entitled Stand Forever, Yielding Never; The Citadel in the 21st Century, published in 2018 and now in its second printing. In 2011, his essay “Lingering at the Doors” was selected by NPR, National Public Radio, for publication in This I Believe on Fatherhood. In 2018, the University of Georgia Press published Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. His essay, “One Cadet’s Lamentations,” is included.

 John’s ancestral ties to the Lowcountry are significant. He is a great-grandson of Col. John “Tuscarora Jack” Barnwell, generally credited with founding Beaufort. His mother’s father, Robert Woodward Barnwell, grew up on Federal Street in Beaufort. 

John was elected to the Beaufort History Museum Board of Directors in April 2021 and Board Vice President in February 2022.


Alan Lehman, Board Treasurer

Alan was born and raised in Philadelphia. Pa. He graduated from Father Judge HS in 1969 and Delaware Valley College (now University) in Doylestown, Pa. with a degree in Business Administration, 1973.

Upon graduation, he was hired by a Federal Law Enforcement Agency in Washington DC. Alan met Trish there and were married in 1977.

That year they left their DC jobs to begin work in the College Graduation Recognition and Achievement Industry representing Herff Jones as an independent agent, for the next 40 years, retiring in 2017.

During this time, Alan ran his business with a staff focused on sales and marketing, which he plans to continue with the Beaufort History Museum.

They moved to Beaufort in 2020.

Together they raised 3 daughters in the South Jersey area.

When not busy at the museum, you can find him at St. Peter's Catholic School with the After Care Program, other church programs, and as a member of their Safety Committee. In addition, Al is a docent at the Beaufort History Museum , Fort Fremont and St. Peter's Historic Church.

Alan was elected to the Board of Directors and as Board Treasurer in January 2023.



Emily May, Board Secretary

Emily lived in Massachusetts and California before moving to Beaufort in 2019. She graduated from the University of San Diego in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish. She works for the MCRD Parris Island Command Museum as a Museum Technician.   While at the Parris Island Museum, she has designed new exhibit panels, created a revamped base driving tour, and developed the interactive Vietnam Maps display project, along with many other wonderful projects.

Emily is also working towards her Master’s in Military History through an online program with the Citadel in Charleston. She will write her thesis on Marine Corps aviation during the Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua, 1927-1934. She expects to graduate in May 2023.

She was elected to the Beaufort History Museum Board of Directors in September 2022.

 

Thomas J. Kelley

Tom is a native of Philadelphia who retired to Dataw Island near Beaufort with his wife, Susan, in 2016. He was awarded a B.S. degree in Government from Georgetown University in 1973 and J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 1976. Tom’s practice focused primarily on defense litigation, both in private practice and as a 25-year employee of The Travelers Insurance Company. He founded the Travelers Staff Counsel office covering northeastern Pennsylvania and served as Managing Attorney there for the last 15 years of his legal career. Tom has served as a docent at the Beaufort History Museum since February 2017 and is currently a member of its Exhibits Committee. He is also a member of the Dataw Historic Foundation and Friends of Hunting Island.


Fred Channels

Fred's career has been characterized by progressively challenging military, Government civil service, and civilian contractor assignments.  From his early days as a Marine Corps helicopter mechanic/crew chief serving with the Presidential Flight Detachment to his final retirement from U.S. Government service more than 50 years later, Fred's diverse experiences included such prestigious assignments as Executive Officer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Strategic Communications and Business Transformation) as an Army Colonel and later as a senior-grade civil servant in the Army's Office of the Chief of Engineers responsible for the planning, management, and execution of all aspects of engineering for the Army and other Defense activities.

Fred is a U.S. Army Command and Staff College Graduate, U.S. Army War College (AWC) Graduate, and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Shippensburg University while attending the AWC.  

Fred currently resides in Beaufort, SC where he serves as a docent at three of our area’s most recognized museums including the Beaufort History Museum, the USMC Parris Island Marine Corps Museum, and the Fort Fremont History Center.   He is also a member of the Friends of Fort Fremont and that organization’s Board of Directors.   Additionally, he is the current President of Lowcountry Chapter of the Military Officers of America Association.

Fred was elected to the Board in September 2020.

Photo currently not available.

Amelie Aimar Cromer

Amelie Aimar Cromer is a native Beaufortonian and a direct descendent of John “Tuscarora Jack” Barnwell. She holds a current South Carolina teaching certificate in Early Childhood, Elementary Education, Special Education (Emotional Disabilities), Educational Evaluator, and Middle Level Language Arts with an endorsement on Gifted Education. Additionally, she earned the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification in Middle Level Language Arts in 2003. Before returning to Beaufort, Mrs. Cromer was the Lead Teacher for The Learning Collaborative, a magnet for highly motivated, high achieving middle schoolers, consisting of 240 students, grades 6-8, and a team of 14 teachers. Amelie was elected Teacher of the Year for Dent Middle and was a finalist for Richland District 2 Teacher of the Year.  She has worked with the SC State Department of Education to evaluate middle school programs and co-developed an Induction Teacher program to support new teachers in Beaufort County. She also served as the school’s liaison for the Young Leaders of Beaufort, working closely with Beaufort City government officials and fellow educators to develop an educational program committed to instilling a strong sense of community awareness in our students. Amelie also formed a school partnership with the Pat Conroy Literary Center to enlist creative writers as artists in residence to align with the River of Words, a program to promote art and writings about the Port Royal Sound.

Amelie was elected to the Beaufort History Museum Board of Directors in January 2022. 


Katherine Lang

Katherine has a long-time record of support and association with Beaufort History Museum. In 2011, The Beaufort Gazette ran a story on the front page about the demise of the city-owned Beaufort Museum.  With an anonymous donation in memory of Michi and Frank DeSola, and with a handful of other people and with guidance from Lawrence Rowland and Stephen Wise, Katherine formed a 501C-3 nonprofit organization and persuaded City Council to allow them to inventory and manage the collection of artifacts and create a museum in City Hall. Katherine served as the Museum's president between 2011-2014. In 2014 Katherine led negotiations with the Beaufort Area Chamber of Commerce to return the Beaufort History Museum to the Beaufort Arsenal.

After Katherine stepped down as Board President, she continued to play an active role in the Museum's programming, exhibitions, and fund-raising.  She was particularly proud of her involvement with two exhibitions during this period: a Hoodoo Exhibit mounted by Beatrice and Andy Tate, and an exhibition on Reconstruction in Beaufort, which is now under loan to the U.S. Park Service.

Katherine says she got into the history museum business because it was something she could do for the community she embraced and made her home twenty-four years ago.  She has been a history buff since John Rice Irwin was her high school history teacher.  He went on to create the Museum of Appalachia, which is now part of the Smithsonian.

Katherine holds a Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, in American Studies and American Literature from George Washington University, Washington, DC.; a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Painting from Corcoran School of Art and a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), English and Art.

She was elected to the Beaufort History Museum Board of Directors in September 2022.


Tricia Lehman

Tricia met Alan while employed bya Federal Law Enforcement Agency in Washington DC. Trish and Alan were married in 1977.

That year they left their DC jobs to begin work in the College Graduation Recognition and Achievement Industry representing Herff Jones as an independent agent, for the next 40 years, both retiring in 2017.

During this time, Trish and Alan ran their business with a staff focused on sales and marketing, which she plan to continue with the Beaufort History Museum.

They moved to Beaufort in 2020.

Together they raised 3 daughters in the South Jersey area.

When not busy at the museum, you can find Trish at St. Peter's Catholic School with the After Care Program, other church programs, and as a member of their Safety Committee. In addition, Trish, is a docent at the Beaufort History Museum , Fort Fremont and St. Peter's Historic Church.


Ex Officio Board Members


Vacant

Liaison to the Beaufort City Council

Our mission is to preserve, portray, and promote the experiences of our past that influence us now and in the future.

The Beaufort History Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 713 Craven Street, Beaufort, SC 29902

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