|When Kathy Aultz stepped in to lead the Douglas County Historical Society, there were no social media accounts, e-mail blasts or electronic banking. Everything was sent by fax and department transactions all went through a paper checkbook.|
No, the year wasn’t 1990. It was 2010, and the new executive director had a lot to do to move the historical society into modern times!
After more than 12 years at the helm of the organization, Aultz plans to retire. Her legacy includes a vast variety of programming, exhibitions spotlighting community history, popular fundraisers, resources for organizations and community members researching the past, a renovated museum, library and gardens and of course, new computers, and updated website and upgraded technology!
When Aultz started, the organization faced closure within a year if she didn’t find a way to bring in revenue. Events that have blossomed under her leadership include the Second Sunday Talks, Women Defining History Fashion Show and Luncheon, Annual Garage Sale, Dickens at Christmas, and GEM donor program.
Aultz believes the future of the organization is bright and hopes to see even more growth and more resources available for the Society’s mission of preserving history.
“The past really belongs to everyone,” she explains. “I think it’s important to help shape the future by knowing local history. Preserving the materials so future generations know the stories of the past is important. Good programming makes history relevant to today.”
“Kathy’s dedication over these 12 years has been exemplary,” says DCHS Board Member Kathy Gross, “Under her leadership, the DCHS has been taken to a new level. Her fundraising has added much to the financial stability of the Society. Her enthusiasm for bringing Douglas County history to the citizens of Omaha through the Second Sunday series has educated all of us. The DCHS archival collection continues to be updated and restored. Kathy truly leaves behind a legacy that we as the Board of Directors are very proud and thankful for.”