Ohio History Connection Announces New CEO
Megan Wood is organization's first female leader after national search
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio History Connection board of trustees has named Megan Wood, 41, of Worthington as the organization’s next executive director and CEO, effective Aug. 1.
Wood, who has served as director of cultural resources for the Ohio History Connection since 2019, is the first woman to lead the private, nonprofit organization that was established in 1885. The organization functions as the state’s partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology, natural history and historic architecture across a network of 58 sites, 1.8 million collections items and hundreds of exhibits.
“Megan was the clear choice among a large and diverse pool of national candidates,” said Charles R. Moses, president of the Ohio History Connection board of trustees. “She represents the Ohio History Connection’s ongoing commitment to cultivating talent within its own ranks. Her vision for the organization is in line with the board’s, and she is the ideal leader to guide the Ohio History Connection into its next era as we continue our enduring mission of embracing the present, sharing the past and transforming the future.”
Wood emerged as the Ohio History Connection’s next leader after a nationwide search yielded a deep pool of diverse and talented candidates from elite institutions across the country.
“I am pleased that the Ohio History Connection will be led by Ohioan Megan Wood,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Ohio has an important and remarkable past, and with Megan Wood as the new CEO, the Ohio History Connection will continue to ensure that Ohio’s many historic places and fascinating stories reach a wide variety of audiences.”
“I believe in the power of history as a way to better understand ourselves and our place in this world,” Wood said. “I plan to help the Ohio History Connection embrace its role of sharing Ohio’s diverse stories and making Ohio communities better as a partner with other governmental, nonprofit and private partners. The Ohio History Connection will continue to grow as a vibrant organization that improves every community we touch by cultivating pride, encouraging economic development and bringing people together.”
MORE ABOUT MEGAN WOOD AND THE OHIO HISTORY CONNECTION
Wood succeeds Burt Logan, who in late March announced his plans to retire in 2023.
Effective Aug. 1, Logan will transition into a role of executive consultant to the board of trustees through Feb. 28, 2023.
“I am delighted Megan was chosen to become the 13th executive director and CEO for the Ohio History Connection,” Logan said. “She inspires nothing but confidence with her institutional knowledge coupled with a demonstrated ability to help the Ohio History Connection navigate the ever-changing waves of the future.”
That future includes a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription nomination for the eight Hopewell Ceremonial earthworks sites in Ohio. If inscribed in summer 2023, they would comprise the first World Heritage listing in Ohio and only the 25th in the U.S.
Wood and the Ohio History Connection have worked on the World Heritage nomination in close consultation with many of the 46 federally recognized American Indian tribes from Ohio, including the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
“As the old saying goes, (Megan) is a stepper,” said Chief Glenna Wallace of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. “I have worked with Megan for quite some time, and every time I’m impressed with the quality of work that she does, with her dedication, with her sensitivity and with her vision. I am quite confident that the Ohio History Connection will continue being as effective, being as active and being an organization that’s interested in all people. Ohioans, American Indians—we are all winners in this.”
Wood also has been a part of building relationships at the federal, state and local levels via individuals, agencies and foundation support.
“Megan Wood is part of a new generation of arts and culture leaders who will help usher in new ways of thinking and connecting with audiences,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council. “I’m thrilled for the Ohio History Connection and excited for what’s to come.”
Wood joined the Ohio History Connection in 2006 as state coordinator for National History Day in Ohio and in 2011 became the visitor experience department manager.
From 2014-2015, she moved to the Historic Ford Estates near Detroit and served as the associate vice president for education and visitor experience.
In 2015, Wood returned to the Ohio History Connection as the director of museum and library services, which forged a deeper work connection with the organization’s site system. In that role, she also oversaw a major project to improve the state archives storage.
In 2019, she became director of cultural resources, overseeing all of the Ohio History Connection’s historic sites, collections items and exhibits.
Wood earned a bachelor’s degree in public history from Western Michigan University in 2003 and master’s degree in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in 2005.
She lives in Worthington with her husband and two children.
About the Ohio History Connection:
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, and local history office and managing more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio. For more information, visit ohiohistory.org. The Greater Columbus Arts Council provides support for Ohio History Connection programs.