Friends of John Jay Homestead announces new Executive Director

Friends of John Jay Homestead are pleased to announce the appointment of Ruth Sonshine as their next Executive Director, succeeding Wendy Ross who retired on May 30th.  Ms. Sonshine comes to the Friends from Yale Law School, where she has been Associate Director for Major Gifts.  A visitor to the Homestead with her family, an outdoors enthusiast, an American Studies major, and a lawyer, she said that she is “excited about joining this excellent organization, with its strong community role, dynamic programs, and essential mission.”  She will begin work on June 23.


Jon Stanley, Chairman of the Board of Friends of John Jay Homestead and also of the Search committee, said, “This has been an exciting and confirming process for us.  We received applications from very committed and qualified applicants who knew about our range of programs and ambitions, and who were excited about our mission.  We’ve just spent the weekend thanking Wendy Ross for her leadership for so many years, and want to thank all the others as well who have helped make the Friends the strong place it is now.” 


Heather Iannucci, New York State Parks site manager, said, “We look forward to working with Ruth.  The Friends bring indispensable energy and support to our shared site, and our relationship has never been stronger!”


Members and visitors are encouraged to drop by the Homestead and introduce themselves to Ms. Sonshine.  The busy Homestead events calendar is hardly taking a summer break, with Farm Markets beginning on June 14 (Saturdays, 9-1); the Homestead Cultural Katonah Landscape Tour on June 28; the Independence Day Fair on July 4; summer camps, family movie evenings; and eventually the Barn Dance, on September 20.  Even though the historic house is closed to visitors all summer for a major HVAC renovation, the grounds and the Education & Visitor Center are open 7 days a week.  For more information or a full calendar of events, please call the Friends office, at 914.232.8119; or visit the Friends website, at johnjayhomestead.org.


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