COLUMBUS, Ohio — Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection for the past 13 years, has announced that he will retire in early 2023. A leader in the field of public history, Logan joined the Ohio History Connection in December 2009. During his tenure, he has led efforts to strengthen relationships with the State of Ohio, embrace the heritage of the original inhabitants of the land we call Ohio, and expanded the Ohio History Connection’s programming, brand recognition and statewide outreach and service, among other highlights.
Established in 1885, the Ohio History Connection is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as the state’s partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology, natural history and historic architecture across a statewide network of 58 sites.
“Serving as the executive director of the Ohio History Connection for the past 13 years has been the culmination of my life’s work. Along with a dedicated staff, I have worked throughout these past 13 years to ensure that we tell the deep and rich history of all of Ohio,” said Logan. “Along with our partners in the governor’s office, the Statehouse and a vast network of history supporters and organizations around the state, I have been fortunate to guide this great organization. Our work is so critical to protecting and preserving the diverse heritage of Ohio, and I feel so fortunate to have been just a small part of the work. Our history is truly written every day, and we are well situated for a bright future.”
Logan will continue in his role until a new executive director is in place. The Ohio History Connection Board of Trustees has retained the executive search firm BeecherHill to help lead the process of identifying the organization’s next leader. The search committee is led by trustee Charles R. “Charley” Moses. The committee will seek input from a broad range of leaders and statewide partners to assist in this important decision.
“The Ohio History Connection, and by extension, our state, is in a better space because of Burt’s leadership over these past 13 years,” said board president Tom Chema. “Burt’s wise guidance through the complexities of historical preservation and representation — all while expanding our network and opening our doors to more Ohioans — has OHC well positioned for a more successful and inclusive future.”
“Burt's leadership and commitment to getting the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks officially recognized as World Heritage sites has been exceptional,” said Hope Taft, Ohio’s former First Lady and longtime supporter of Ohio’s efforts to earn World Heritage status for some of Ohio’s 2,000-year-old American Indian earthworks. “He will be missed.”
“It has been a great pleasure working with Burt and the Ohio History Connection over the years,” said State Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus). “I appreciate Burt’s extraordinary leadership and vision, and I wish him the best in retirement. I look forward to continuing the partnership with the Ohio History Connection.”
Logan’s leadership helped set the course of the organization on a more visible, accessible and stable path. Upon joining the organization in 2009, the then Ohio Historical Society was coming out of a recession. Logan helped build and lead a team not only to help repair the organization’s reputation, trust and visibility, but also its financial footing. Some highlights of his tenure include a deepened relationship throughout state government; a rebranding as the Ohio History Connection to help embrace a 21<sup>st</sup>-century approach and persona; the establishment of the Ohio History Fund, which has helped fund over 100 projects to support the preservation and sharing of Ohio’s heritage around the state; the reopening of Ohio Village, which was closed from 2003-2012; and expanded programming to include the stories of new Americans, underserved communities and other groups, which previously had been overlooked<strong>.
Under Logan’s leadership, the Ohio History Connection helped elevate local history by strengthening relationships with site partners across the historic site network and supporting the grassroots work of the Ohio History Alliance<strong>. </strong>Beyond that foundational work, Logan helped establish relations with the 46 Historic-Ohio Tribes — who for the first time since 1885 were welcomed, recognized and given a voice in the organization and on the board. Most notably, under Logan’s leadership, those relationships have helped the Ohio History Connection in its application with UNESCO for the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks as a potential World Heritage Site in 2023; if inscribed, they would be the first such site in Ohio and only the 25th in the United States.
Before he jointed the Ohio History Connection, Logan was executive director/president of the U.S.S. Constitution Museum in Boston from 1995 to 2009. He served as the director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, from 1986 to 1995. He began his museum career as executive director of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, from 1983 to 1986.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in June 1976. In his senior year, he was awarded the General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley Award for Excellence in Historical Research. He was commissioned in the field artillery and served on active duty until 1981.
In 1983, he received a Master of Arts in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Cooperstown, New York, and was awarded the Huguenot Society of New York’s Most Outstanding Student Award. In 2005, he attended the Museum Leadership Institute at the Getty Center and has since served as a presenter for the program.
In July 2012, Logan was appointed Chair of the Accreditation Commission for the American Alliance of Museums and is the incoming Chair of Council for the American Association for State and Local History. He is the past president of both the Council of American Maritime Museums and the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History.
About 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 <a href="https://www.ohiohistory.org">ohiohistory.org.</a> Support for Ohio History Connection programs comes from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.