Museum director steps down

Marty Woodbury will become a full-time ski instructor

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When the Tread of Pioneers Museum faced funding cuts, struggled to fund-raise in tough economic times and its board questioned whether it could continue to stay open, director Marty Woodbury championed its cause.

But just days after voters passed a tax that will give the museum a stable $117,000-a-year funding source, Woodbury announced she was stepping down from the position to be a full-time ski instructor.

"(Skiing is) the thing that brought me to Steamboat Springs. I just felt like it was time to devote myself to that," Woodbury said.

Woodbury had campaigned for the proposed countywide .3-mill levy. When the Steamboat Springs City Council cut its funding to the museum, she made an impassioned plea to the council, asking its help to keep the museum afloat. "I like to fight the good fight," Woodbury said.

Candice Lombardo, who has spent three and half years as the museum's assistant director and curator, has been named to replace her.

Woodbury said the timing of her resignation with the passage of the museum tax is just a coincidence, but is glad to be leaving the museum in good hands. Woodbury said she plans to continue volunteer for the Tread of Pioneers.

"The museum is in great condition. It has got a strong, committed board. The future looks bright. I feel really positive about Candice moving into the director's position," she said.

Woodbury started volunteering at the museum in October 1998. The next April, she became its director. Last winter, Woodbury took a three-month sabbatical to help the museum cut back on costs.

Lombardo and Woodbury have worked closely together for the past few years, Woodbury said, which should make for a smooth transition.

With a stable funding source from the new tax, Lombardo said the role of the director will move away from fund raising and focus more on increasing the education and community outreach programs and firmly establishing the museum as a cultural outlet in town.

"It really is a new era," Lombardo said.

She talked about increasing efforts to preserve family histories in Routt County, to step up preservation efforts of the museum's collections and to bring more signature events to the museum.

Board President Jayne Hill said that thanks to the new tax, the board can start looking at programs that might not necessarily mean making a profit.

"We don't have to put our energy into what is going to pay back," Hill said.

The next big challenge for the museum, Woodbury said, is finding a way in the next few years to meet its growth.

Lombardo, a Tulane University graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology and psychology, worked with Yampatika's historical guide programs and the Young Utes and Pioneers Nature Program.

Woodbury will leave the position in late November, and Hill said the board is looking to hire someone in January to replace the curator and assistant director's position left open by Lombardo.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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