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Hello from our new executive director!

Updated: Apr 17

Dear Friends,

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself as the new Executive Director and provide an update on some exciting things the Friends of Clermont has planned for the year ahead.

Although I am new to the Executive Director role, my connection to Clermont State Historic Site began just over 45 years ago. I was born and raised locally and owe my love of history to my mom. Together, we took many day trips to enjoy the changing seasons and programs at historic sites throughout the region. Ever since I was old enough to drive, I’ve brought friends to the Hudson Valley to share my passion about the importance of this area to the history of our country.

My mom was a benefactor of many historic places in our community. After her passing in 1998 from ovarian cancer, I continued in her footsteps and in later years founded the Tryon Family Foundation in her memory. Through the foundation, I continue our family mission of “giving for the greater good.”

Because of my long-standing dedication and love for Clermont, I was excited to join the board in 2017. I served various roles within the board over the past seven years including Secretary, Vice President, and President this past year.

When our Executive Director left for another opportunity last year, the board gained a better understanding of what we were looking for in an Executive Director and how best to move the organization forward. I applied for the position, went through the interview process, and was selected to become the next Executive Director, which took effect April 1, 2024.

The board has endured a lot of challenges and changes over the past several years, but I believe we are stronger because of it. Today, I am very proud of our dedicated, dynamic, and highly-skilled Board of Trustees who believe in the mission of the Friends of Clermont.

At our March 23, 2024 annual meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the following board slate effective April 1:

  • President, Craig Diehl

  • Treasurer, Michael Koelsch

  • Secretary, Heather Rogers

Marcus McGregor, Wendy Nack-Lawlor, and Diana Wheeler will continue to serve on the board.

We are thrilled to welcome Kokese Ballou, Maia Farish, and Erin Reehl as our newest board members.

And last, but certainly not least, we thank outgoing board members Richard McKeon and Martha Patricof for their service. Richard and Martha were instrumental in advancing the Friends of Clermont and positioning us for the future. We could not be more grateful for their leadership, friendship, and dedication throughout the years.

We look to the year ahead and beyond with tremendous enthusiasm. We will elevate the Friends of Clermont and welcome even broader audiences to our bucolic Clermont State Historic Site – the oldest surviving estate in the Hudson Valley. We continue to build our programs for the year, but here’s a taste of what’s to come:

  • Harmonies on the Hudson starts Thursday, May 30. Our free concert series kicks off at 6 p.m. with the Donna Tritico Band. (Check out our complete summer schedule.)

  • The Garden Tea is Saturday, September 14. Our investment in the gardens continues and we look forward to hosting another fun afternoon.

  • The candlelight evening holiday party returns to the mansion on Saturday, December 7.

  • A new membership program will launch soon. We’re excited to offer enhanced benefits.

  • And much more on the horizon!

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We have a lot to be thankful for as we move into our new fiscal year – and none of it would be possible without the ongoing support of our donors, friends, and community. Like many Friends groups, we are here to support the site however we can. It’s a true balance between supporting the state site as part of our partnership and maintaining our infrastructure as an organization; I look forward to advancing both.

Thank you for your time and support. I look forward to seeing you at Clermont this year!

Randy J. Tryon

Executive Director


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