Introducing Sam McKelvey, President and CEO
The Board of Directors of the Fredericksburg Area Museum (FAM) is pleased to announce that Sam McKelvey will become its next President and CEO effective June 5, 2023. McKelvey joins a community institution that is committed to telling the stories of the Fredericksburg area’s earliest inhabitants through its contemporary residents.
McKelvey was most recently the Executive Director of the Menokin Foundation, a National Historic Landmark in Warsaw, VA. His placement follows an extensive national search led by Good Insight, an executive search firm based in Washington, DC.
“As an experienced museum professional, Sam has the knowledge and passion we need to expand FAM’s vital role in the region,” said Rhonda Fried, FAM Board Chair. “His deep understanding of history and museums as living, breathing parts of the community will build upon our successful legacy and take us into the future.”
“I am incredibly excited to begin my tenure with the Fredericksburg Area Museum,” said McKelvey. “The museum has laid the groundwork to create an example of what a museum can mean in a community. I look forward to building on the work that the talented staff, board, and volunteers have created.”
McKelvey joins FAM in the midst of a three-year project led by a scholar of African American history to produce exhibitions, programming, scholarship, workshops, and walking tours that contextualize the museum’s historical resources within the city. Voices Strong, Voices True: Our Untold Story is an ongoing initiative, with an extensive exhibition on local African American history planned to open in 2025.
About Sam McKelvey
McKelvey was the Executive Director of the Menokin Foundation in Warsaw, Virginia for nearly seven years. During his tenure, he managed a re-branding of the site including a shift in mission; oversaw the planning and building of the award-winning Remembrance Structure; created new programming and expansion of recreational opportunities on site; and managed the $9 million Glass House Project. He is most proud of Menokin’s dedicated research during his tenure on the enslaved Menokin residents and their descendants, leading to the creation of the Menokin Descendant Collective.
Previously McKelvey managed multiple museums with Henrico County Historic Preservation and Museum Services, including Meadow Farm Museum, Dabbs House Mususem, Clarke-Palmore House, and Walkerton Tavern. McKelvey holds a BS in both Geography and History from James Madison University and a MA in History from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a board member of the Virginia Association of Museums. McKelvey’s profound passion for museum management has come from seeing the change that cultural organizations can make in a community.
About Good Insight
With a mission to connect good causes to great leaders, Good Insight is an executive search firm that serves the social sector. The firm plans leadership transitions, recruits talented senior executives, and strengthens boards of directors. Good Insight focuses on leadership searches for small and mid-sized nonprofits with a nationwide reach. To learn more, visit www.good-insight.org.