It has been a busy week for The Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. The organization has announced the hiring of a new Executive Director – the first in nearly two decades – and seen its lobbying efforts pay off at the Capitol as the planned government raid of its funds has been stalled. The Trust has hired Daniel Mackay to be the organization’s Executive Director, to succeed retiring Executive Director of eighteen years, Helen Higgins. He will be responsible for furthering the Connecticut Trust’s mission of preserving, protecting and promoting buildings, sites, structures and landscapes that contribute to the heritage and vitality of Connecticut communities.
"We are extremely fortunate Helen Higgins has been our Executive Director for the past 18 years. We cannot thank Helen enough for strong leadership and the advances the Trust has made during her tenure," said Board Chairman, Charlie Janson.
“We are equally fortunate in bringing Daniel Mackay to the Trust. Dan has tremendous experience, vision and a passion for historic preservation. We also know that he will nurture the relationships of the Trust with the Governor's office, our legislature and the other organizations we partner with. We are very excited for a bright future led by Daniel.”
That future began with good news. Governor Malloy had proposed a 100-percent sweep of Community Investment Act Funds from Jan. 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 and in his deficiency bill proposed an additional sweep of $15 million. The budget that was approved Wednesday by the state legislature added back 50 percent of the cut that begins on Jan. 1, officials said. In addition, there is no sweep of funds to address the deficiency.
Mackay will come to Connecticut after fifteen years with the Preservation League of New York State as Director of Public Policy, where he was the lead advocate for implementation and expansion of the New York State Rehabilitation Tax Credit program, with key legislative victories along the way. He was also the lead author of extensive revisions and expansion of New York State model historic preservation law for local municipalities between 2012 and 2014. He holds an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Chicago and a Masters in Environmental Education from Lesley College.
Upcoming on the CT Trust calendar is a guided ride through historic Ivoryton, Essex and Deep River on June 13 for the Preservation Pedal, with a few scenic stops including a brunch break at Whistle Stop Cafe in Deep River before returning to Ivoryton. The event is a fundraiser and bike tour, honoring the organization's 40th anniversary.
The Connecticut Trust is a nonprofit, member supported organization, one of the foremost statewide preservation organizations in the country. The organization provides technical assistance, financial assistance, workshops, publications and advocacy in preservation matters and issues. The Trust receives daily requests for technical restoration information including the names of contractors, architects, consultants and craftsman who have experience with historic buildings, and has compiled a Restoration Services Directory for use by those seeking restoration professionals and suppliers in Connecticut and surrounding areas.