The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum announced a new leadership change Thursday.
The organization named Casey Van Rysdam interim executive director, replacing Kathy Fleming, who is retiring from the organization after a 28-year career with the Museum.
“We extend our gratitude to Kathy for her many years of leadership — particularly when the Lighthouse expanded — and her work to ensure our Museum, while in its infancy, lived up to its mission statement,” Museum board of trustees Chair Doris Wiles said in a statement. “We certainly appreciate Kathy’s passion for our local gem and wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.”
The Museum will immediately begin a national search for a permanent executive director.
“It was an honor and privilege to serve with such amazing staff and board members over the years and to move our Museum forward,” Fleming said. “I am very grateful to be involved in helping to create the Museum as we know it today, as well as working with so many quality leaders. I will treasure my career with the Museum as I move into a new chapter in my life.”
Added Van Rysdam: “I am honored the Board of Directors has placed their trust in me to lead the Museum through this transitional time. It is a pleasure to now be associated with one of St. Augustine’s most recognizable landmarks, rich history, and dedicated staff. I look forward to the work ahead.”
The Museum and Lighthouse has served as a unique landmark in St. Augustine for 147 years. It provides educational programs, interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research. Its mission is to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the nation’s oldest port.