It is with great sadness that the Westmoreland County Museum announces the retirement of Walt Heyer. Mr. Heyer will step down after 19-years of service and 12 years as Executive Director of the Westmoreland County Museum.
Mr. Heyer has grown the Westmoreland County Museum’s reach. Under his directorship, the museum’s management has expanded from the original museum building to include the Wakefield Building and also the Historic Courthouse. Mr. Heyer has also encouraged a more diverse representation on the Westmoreland County Museum’s Board of Directors.
Susan Ripol, chair of the Board of Directors said, “Westmoreland County Museum has been quite fortunate to have been associated with and under the leadership of Walt Heyer for the past twelve years. His knowledge and dedication made the Museum what it is today. His high expectations, energy, and determination when undertaking projects, exhibits, and displays led to our success. He will be missed.”
Mr. Heyer served with the Commonwealth of Virginia in the museum field for thirty-five years. He worked with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation for thirteen years in positions such as interpreter, marketing manager, and park director at both the Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center.
While working in Williamsburg, Mr. Heyer worked with tourism development in the Historic Triangle area. Mr. Heyer then began the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA and served there as Executive Director and state agency head for thirteen years.
In 1997, he helped to build the City of Henricus and worked there for ten years. After retiring from state service, Mr. Heyer worked with Preservation Virginia and National Park Service on the Jamestown 2007 Celebration. While in the museum field, he served as chairman of the state museum directors group and served on the governing council with the Virginia Association of Museums for more than nine years. Mr. Heyer also worked with both Blue Ridge Community College and Rappahannock Community College to teach classes and workshops in history and nonprofit management.
Westmoreland County Museum welcomed Mr. Heyer as a consultant in 2001, and he assisted the museum with various projects until 2008 when he became the part-time Executive Director. He has guided the museum through many challenges, but he has also helped the museum to become an ever-present partner in the Westmoreland County community. Vice chair of the Board of Directors Anne Garner reiterated, “We are thankful for the many years of dedicated leadership that Walt provided to the museum. His guidance and knowledge has led us over hurdles and through expansion to a place where we can better serve the growing Westmoreland County community.”
Mr. Heyer jumps in wherever he feels he is needed,
from giving museum tours to building cabinets and installing fixtures in the Wakefield building
to scaring folks at his favorite museum Halloween events.
We want to thank him for all he has done for the museum, and we wish him well.