The Haggin Museum announced this week that its Board of Trustees has appointed Susan Obert as the new CEO, effective May 22, 2021. Obert will succeed current CEO Tod Ruhstaller, who in January announced his retirement after 37 years of service.
“As a Committee, we took our responsibility of being stewards of the Haggin Museum legacy very seriously,” said Board Chair and Search Committee member John McKinley. “Susan stood out as an experienced and highly-regarded leader who is deeply connected in our community and committed to collaboration. We felt strongly that she would be the right person at the right time for the institution.”
Obert’s experience is rooted in fund development which provides her with a clear understanding of the importance for institutional financial sustainability, which has become even more critical as we emerge from the pandemic. She also has a solid marketing and business background along with a strong commitment to community collaboration.
At the Haggin, increasing responsibility and organizational leadership has been the cornerstone of her role. From day-to-day operations to working on special projects such the James Irvine Foundation grants which led to the 2017 reinterpretation and redesign of the Haggin’s core art galleries, Obert’s experience and commitment can be found.
When Ruhstaller was informed of the Board’s decision he said, “The Haggin could not have a more qualified person to serve as its next CEO than Susan. In the 19 years she has been with the museum as its Director of Development and later as its Deputy Director, she has not only become familiar with practically every aspect of this institution’s everyday operations and management but has also become its public face through her many community outreach efforts and various social media platforms.”
As the Haggin Museum’s 90th Anniversary quickly approaches in June, Obert said, “she is honored and committed to taking on this next chapter in the Haggin’s future.” She was also quick to point out that the museum has a wonderful collection as its foundation, but it has always been the museum’s volunteers, members and the community that has been its strength.
Haggin Museum is a nonprofit art and history museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Its remodeled art galleries feature fascinating works of art, from 19th and 20th-century masters to “Golden Age” illustrator J.C. Leyendecker, while its history galleries offer a glimpse into San Joaquin County’s past. It is located at 1201 N. Pershing Ave., Stockton, CA.
After being closed to the public for a year due to the pandemic, the museum has reopened to the public at 25 percent capacity under the COVID-19 guidelines. Typically, the Haggin is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and first and third Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (however, upon the initial reopening, due to COVID-19 guidelines the museum will not be open for late-night first and third hours). Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (ages 65 and older), $5 for students and youth (ages 10-17), and free for children under 10, museum members, and on the first Saturday of each month.
For more information call 209-940-6300 or visit www.hagginmuseum.org.