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Lake Champlain Maritime Museum director steps down; search begins

FERRISBURGH — Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM), which has grown dramatically during 30 years of operation, is entering into a new phase of evolution and growth. Erick Tichonuk has made the decision to step down as executive director, and therefore the board of directors of the museum has launched a national search for a new executive director.
Since he joined the staff in 1986 to work with founding director Art Cohn, Tichonuk has participated in nautical archaeology projects, interpreted history and archaeology, participated in the creation and implementation of new educational programs, served as the replica coordinator of Lois McClure and Philadelphia II, and acted as co-executive director with Adam Kane, and more recently, as executive director.
 “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I express our sincere appreciation of Erick’s many contributions, particularly during his tenure as Executive Director,” stated Bob Beach, chairman of the board of directors and LCMM co-founder.
A nonprofit based in Ferrisburgh, LCMM opened its doors in 1986 with a mission to study, preserve and share the rich history and archaeology of Lake Champlain. From its origins in a one-room historic stone schoolhouse, LCMM has grown into a nationally recognized museum on a four-acre campus with outreach through online resources, publications, traveling exhibits and educational partnerships.
The 2014 season provides ample evidence of LCMM’s multifaceted operations. Tichonuk, who will be acting as interim director while the search is under way, recently compiled the museum’s “Top 10 of 2014,” which includes: 
•  Expanding the popular Shipwreck ROV Tours program from Basin Harbor to Burlington;
•  Constructing a whaleboat for Mystic Seaport’s wooden whaleship Charles W. Morgan and adding new on-water rowing events for adults and students;
•  Creating traveling exhibits on shipwrecks for the New York State Fair and on the Revolutionary War for Benedict Arnold’s birthplace, Norwich, Conn;
•  Partnering with Greensea Systems Inc. to create an underwater robotics camp for teens, and with Texas A&M University to offer an expanded field school in underwater archaeology;
•  Celebrating the 10th anniversary of replica canal schooner Lois McClure, the 50th birthday of her companion wooden tugboat C.L. Churchill, and the 20th anniversary of the youth kayak-building program, Champlain Discovery;
•  Offering new free teacher-training workshops in watershed science to complement the museum’s On-Water Ecology program;
•  Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 with an array of special exhibits, schooner tour, archaeological projects and free curriculum downloads;
•  Honoring founding director Art Cohn as director emeritus, as LCMM celebrates 30 years of excellence.
In the weeks ahead, LCMM’s board of directors will be working closely with senior staff to provide continuity and smooth operations during the transition and into the future.

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