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New leader at Historical Society

Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society

By Ashley Hassett

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society has a new leader. Melissa Brown has been named director.

Brown who has worked her way up at the museum, starting in collections and consulting on more than a dozen major exhibits, including the Buffalo Bills 50th anniversary season.

Brown, 36, becomes the museum's 11th director and succeeds Cynthia Conides PhD., who will return to her full-time job with Buffalo State College, which "loaned" Dr. Conides and her expertise to the Society for the past four years.

Dr. Conides will stay on part time as curator of special projects at the Historical Society's museum.

At a news conference Wednesday, Brown promises to keep things fresh and to preserve Buffalo's history.

"I pledge to cultivate and celebrate, share and safeguard that treasure that characterizes our community. It's history," said Brown.

Brown is an expert in Western New York history and the Historical Society's director of research and interpretation.

Brown, who has worked her way up at the museum, starting in collections and consulting on more than a dozen major exhibits feels confident that she will be able to take the knowledge she has already learned and use it to her advantage for the museum's future.

"This is a logical transition of expert leadership and the board of managers is delighted that Melissa can move seamlessly to carry on the work Cynthia initiated to grow and modernize the museum," said Joan M. Bukowski, president of the Society's board.

Brown will transition into her new position as Dr. Conides reverts to the college by Dec. 31. This will also give Brown time to complete work on a major museum initiative "John Mix Stanley's Trial of Red Jacket," opening in October at the Nottingham Court museum.