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Breaking News from Gettysburg - 11/07 - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 03:14 pm
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javal1
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Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Named New
President of the Gettysburg Foundation

John Latschar to take over reins from retiring President Robert Wilburn



Gettysburg, Pa. (November 7, 2008) - Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent John Latschar will be leaving his post on March 1, 2009 to become the new president of the nonprofit Gettysburg Foundation, it was announced today by the Gettysburg Foundation and the National Park Service.

“John’s vision and leadership are an important part of the successful public-private partnership between the Gettysburg Foundation and the National Park Service,” said Robert Kinsley, Chair of the Gettysburg Foundation. “John’s experience and dedication exemplifies the type of leader we are looking for as we continue to work with the National Park Service to preserve Gettysburg for future generations.” Latschar was selected after a unanimous vote by the Board of Directors of the Foundation.

“Obviously, Bob Wilburn is leaving some huge shoes to fill,” said Latschar. “No one else could have taken the Gettysburg Foundation from a concept to the opening of our new museum and visitor center in eight short years. I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to work towards the preservation
and care of Gettysburg NMP and Eisenhower NHS from a new perspective. My goal will be ensure that we continue our momentum, and to move the organization forward into a new era of philanthropy for the benefit of this and future generations.” said Latschar.

Working as a partner with the National Park Service, the Gettysburg Foundation raised $103 million to build a new park Museum and Visitor Center which has ensured the preservation of the Gettysburg’s museum collections and the Cyclorama painting. The facility’s 24,000 square feet of museum exhibits have improved visitor understanding of the significance of the Battle of Gettysburg within the context of the causes and
consequences of the American Civil War. A final keystone to the project will begin this winter when the park and the Gettysburg Foundation demolish two outdated visitor facilities located upon the center of the Union Army’s battle line of July 1863.

“John’s background and perspectives as an army officer, a combat veteran, a Ph.D. historian, and park superintendent contributed to his success in addressing preservation challenges at both Gettysburg NMP and the Eisenhower Site in innovative ways,” said Dennis Reidenbach, Regional Director for the National Park Service Northeast Region. “The projects and partnerships he created have dramatically improved the park’s ability to meet its mission now and for the future.”

“It has been a pleasure to work with the dedicated park staff, our partners, and the community to create the new museum and implement battlefield rehabilitation to restore Gettysburg’s historic integrity and enhance visitor understanding of the battle. I’m also proud of our combined efforts with Main Street Gettysburg and others to develop the David Wills

House, a National Park Service museum opening February 2009 in downtown Gettysburg about the aftermath of battle and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address,” said Latschar. “As President of the Gettysburg Foundation, we will continue to work with all our Gettysburg-area partners on the implementation of the Borough of Gettysburg Interpretive Plan.

Latschar has been superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park since 1994. He is a 31-year veteran of the National Park Service. Prior to his appointment at Gettysburg, he served as the first Superintendent of Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA, and in various capacities at the NPS Denver Service Center. He has been recognized by the National
Park Service for his leadership numerous times, including being named Superintendent of the Year for the Northeast Region of the NPS in 1991 and in 2001, Superintendent of the Year for Natural Resource Stewardship in 2003 and for Cultural Resource Stewardship in 2000.

The Gettysburg Foundation is in the midst of a $125 million Campaign to Preserve Gettysburg, which includes the construction—now complete—of the  new Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park. The Foundation’s broad preservation mission began in 1989 and includes land
preservation, battlefield rehabilitation, artifact preservation and
monument and cannon-carriage preservation. The Foundation has more than 30,000 members and supporters nationwide and internationally.

Current Foundation President Robert C. Wilburn will step down March 1. Wilburn came to the Gettysburg Foundation in 2000, after being President and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

“Gettysburg is one of the most important places in American history,” said Wilburn. “It has been an honor to work to preserve this hallowed ground and to excite and inspire the millions of visitors who come here each year.

With John’s leadership, Gettysburg’s future will be preserved.”

The Gettysburg Foundation, [url=mhtml:{846E96B5-574C-4ECF-9F6F-2A4963213D7A}mid://00000036/!x-usc:
]http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org/]http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org[/url] , is a private,
nonprofit educational organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to enhance preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg.



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 03:53 pm
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ole
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Is this good? Seems that Latschar has been involved in a conflict or two.



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 04:07 pm
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javal1
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Ole, I think it just depends on your views of the parties involved (Latchar and the Foundation). Personally, I've always had the greatest respect for Latchar and zero respect for the Foundation, for various reasons. So I see it as the park losing a great asset to an organization that I hold in contempt. I have no doubt others will feel differently.



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 05:18 pm
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ole
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Thanks. I've only just barely been aware that there is yet another struggle for control of something or another. Never did get to see a resolution to the quarrell among the SCV. And it seems that there's always a conflict of interest somewhere.

Was it clever or a mistake to turn over much of the operation to private enterprise? I'm reminded of the super job Kentucky and the committee have been doing on Perryville. Or the community of Franklin (although I smell something). Sometimes the magic works.

ole



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 05:52 pm
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David White
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Javal:

why do you hold the Foundation in contempt is it the whole VC thing or something else?



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 06:50 pm
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javal1
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DW,

Of course it's the VC, since that's the sole reason the "Foundation" was formed. I'm not a great fan of "private-public" partnerships". I've seen a few work, but many more turn into money-pits for the greedy and corrupt. I'll let you speculate where I think the GBVC falls in that spectrum.

What you have to understand is that the VC issue goes back to the beginning, back to the late 90's. It was then that a "public input" period began with a series of meetings and presentations. I travelled 180-miles round-trip to attend every one of them. The subject was whether there should be $37 million allocated for a new VC. This we were told, would alleviate the fire concerns, plus allow more of the artifacts to be displayed. Of course with this BS line presented as it was they got the approval they were looking for (mine included).

Once that public approval was gained, the free-for-all began. All of a sudden, the $37 million dollar expanded VC became a great need for a "world-class" museum, planned by the most expensive planners, built by the most expensive architects, and headed by over-paid "experts". Nevermind the fact that a true "world-class" Civil War museum had just opened less than 30 miles away. So within months, the "approved" budget doubled then tripled. The public was duped, plain and simple.

I would urge all to sign up for a free account at http://www.guidestar.org , where you can then take a look at the money expended into this so-called "world-class" boondangle. Take a look at the salaries paid to Wilburn, and for office supplies, and ad expenses, and etc. And for that we have a nice building which has (from everything I hear) the same or lesser number of atifacts on display, a bookstore that now focuses on cheap Chinese trinkets rather than scholarly books on the battle, and an over-priced "food court" which ruined dozens of ma and pa businesses all along Steinwehr.

And where's the outrage from all of those who always stood up for the park? They were bought up. Where's the Friends of Gettysburg, a once proud advocacy group? Bought by the Foundation, executives given a higher salary. And now Latcher.

Sorry, I know many disagree and I respect that. But I've been following it from the beginning. I see the Foundation as a corrupt and regressive influence on a noble park. And I'll spend the rest of my life regretting falling for the lies.



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 07:42 pm
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izzy
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javal1:  I got suckered into giving them a donation.  Then I saw what the executives were paid.  I can't remember the exact amount now but it struck me as exorbitant.  They will not get another penny from me.



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 08:02 pm
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pamc153PA
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I tend to agree with Joe, about the VC. I also have heard some really disturbing things about Latschar and his wife, a former LBG at Gettysburg, from someone who has dealt with them. Based on that, I'd say Latschar's best interest has not always been in the park, but in himself. I know many of the LBGs do not feel very fond of of him. So I'd say that Latschar is moving to a position that is more suited for his real motivation, and maybe someone who has the park at heart will take the reins next.

Pam



 Posted: Mon Nov 10th, 2008 12:54 am
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Logan Guard
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Izzy,

There was an artical in the Evening Sun that tried to follow the money. http://www.eveningsun.com/ci_10489028.

It said that the Foundations three highest-paid employees - President Robert Wilburn, Executive Vice President Elliot Gruber and Vice President Susan Corbett - made a total of $675,521.

Wilburn's salary of $392,735 accounts for nearly 25 percent of the total cost to pay foundation employees. Gruber made $160,173, and Corbett made $81,054 that year.



 Posted: Mon Nov 10th, 2008 11:27 pm
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Crazy Delawares
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I will still be eating at the Steinwehr eateries. They're basically on the battlefield where I'll be. As for books, I really like the Farnsworth Bookstore! I don't even eat at the food courts at the malls. If I eat out, it will not be at a noisy food court!
As for the salaries of these folks, well, I believe it's already been said.

How will this affect the old visitors' center?

Last edited on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 11:38 pm by Crazy Delawares



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