Western Reserve Historical Society president to step down this winter

Jasmine Gallup, Staff Reporter

Gainor Davis, president and CEO of the Western Reserve Historical Society, will be stepping down from her position this winter, ending her seven years of service at the Society effective Dec. 14. Davis, who came into the position with more than 25 years of experience, having led organizations such as the Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier and Barre, and the York County Heritage Trust, is making room for “fresh blood,” according to The Plain Dealer reports.

Kelly Falcone-Hall, the Society’s chief operating officer and senior vice president, will act as interim CEO while the Western Reserve Historical Society searches the nation for Davis’ replacement.

The Plain Dealer noted that Davis is going to be leaving the organization in better condition than she found it, having stabilized its finances and improved its overall functionality during her tenure at the Society. Charity Navigator, a national organization that monitors nonprofits on behalf of donors, currently gives the Western Reserve Historical Society four stars out of four, a three star improvement from their rating from 2007.

According to Charity Navigator, which rates non-profit organizations on both financial performance and degree of accountability and transparency, the Society currently spends 77 percent of its budget on “the programs and services it exists to deliver.” In addition, it also has high fundraising efficiency, spending less than 10 cents for each dollar raised in charitable contributions.

The Society’s high accountability rating comes from their provision of financial and administrative information on their website, allowing members easy access to board meeting minutes, audited financials and their various policies on member privacy, CEO compensation and conflict of interest.

After all of the work Davis has done in service to the Society, improving management, monitoring and encouraging new initiatives for growth and expansion, and improving communication with the community, the Society eagerly looks forward to their 150th anniversary in 2017, which they hope will mark a new era for the organization.