MHV appoints Interim Executive Director

Shannon Dueck, SteinbachOnline, May 2, 2024

Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach has announced the appointment of an Interim Executive Director. 

Effective immediately, Robert Goertzen is assuming that position. The museum had been without an Executive Director since April 19th when Gary Dyck resigned. 

MHV President Willie Peters says Goertzen has been the Program Manager at the museum since January 2018 and is one of the longest-serving staff members that is currently employed at the museum.

“The board is confident that Robert will provide strong leadership during the search for a permanent Executive Director,” adds Peters. “He knows the ins and outs of this facility. So, we are looking forward to it.”

Peters says the board wanted an Interim Executive Director who was presently employed at the museum and someone who could offer guidance and direction. Peters says Goertzen is quite capable of doing just that.

“He’s been in charge of the whole education program, which is very meaningful to the whole museum facility,” notes Peters. “He has good capability of running that program and we think he is capable of running the staff and everybody else.”

He says though this appointment will have a ripple effect, it will not force them to now hire someone to fill the role of Program Manager. Rather, Peters suggests that some of Goertzen’s responsibilities will now be shared by other staff members. 

“Work together,” he says. “That’s the big name of the game is to stick together and share the workload.”

According to Peters, the museum has not yet received any resumes or applications from anyone looking to try and fill the role of Executive Director. However, he says they are not even at that point yet, noting they are still working on putting together a search committee to oversee the process. 

“You have to take your time and plan it well and outline what we’re looking for,” says Peters. 

As far as what sort of Executive Director they are looking for, Peters says they need someone who is a good leader, good at public relations, and someone who can garner the necessary support from businesses, community, and volunteers. 

“It’s hard to find those people,” he says. “It’s unique and this is a unique place and that’s what will make it difficult again.”

Peters notes he is hopeful they can have a permanent Executive Director in place before the end of the year. In the meantime, he says Goertzen is willing to serve as an interim for several months.

Meanwhile, the museum officially opened its grounds for the season on Wednesday of this week.