Connecticut Explored Names a New Publisher

Media Contact: Jennifer LaRue, jglaruehere@gmail.com

June 4, 2022: The Board of Connecticut Explored Inc. has announced the appointment of Dr. Katherine A. Hermes as the organization’s new Executive Director and Publisher. (Dr. Hermes is also the editor of Digital Farmington.) Hermes will assume the newly created role, which includes serving as the organization’s first formal Executive Director in addition to being its Publisher, on July 5. She succeeds Founding Publisher Elizabeth J. Normen, who is retiring from the post she created after twenty years.

Kendall Wiggin, Chair of the Board of Connecticut Explored and a member of the search committee, said, “We are delighted to bring Dr. Hermes aboard as our new Executive Director and Publisher. She brings to this newly created role a deep and rich knowledge of both American and Connecticut history, along with abundant experience, expertise, enthusiasm, and energy. She is widely known as a brilliant, extraordinary, and highly respected scholar of American history and is recognized for both her ability and desire to make history relatable to a broader audience.We look forward to working with her and to exploring what’s next for Connecticut Explored.”

Hermes, who holds a Ph.D. in history from the Yale University Graduate School, a J.D. from Duke University School of Law, and several other degrees, is a professor of history at Central Connecticut State University, where she has taught since 1997, serving for six years as department chair. Hermes said, “I’m looking forward to this exciting new role. Connecticut Explored is unique. It is telling the stories of our state from many different perspectives, from inventors who design and create new technologies to the West Indian social clubs (Summer, 2022).  Over the years its reputation has grown and its contributions to state history have been so significant. Its impact on the state’s public history community is pronounced. That the Board has placed its trust in me to carry forward is a real honor. I am eager to work with the Board members and the staff on our 20th anniversary events and the publication of future issues.”

Elizabeth Normen said, “I wish to thank the Board for its strong leadership of this transition as CTExplored celebrates its 20th anniversary. I look forward to seeing the wonderful places Kathy Hermes takes the organization in my new role as a subscriber and donor. She is extremely accomplished, and I’m confident that she’ll do great things. I can’t imagine leaving the organization in better hands.”

Under Normen’s leadership, the nonprofit organization grew from publishing Connecticut Explored (formerly Hog River Journal), a quarterly magazine devoted to the state’s history, to producing a podcast of Connecticut history and an array of social studies resources about Connecticut for grades K-12, along with several books. The organization will celebrate its 20th anniversary beginning in Fall 2022 with an array of special programs and stories under the organizing theme 20 for 20: Innovations in Connecticut History.

The search for a new publisher was led by Board member Olivia White. White said, “Elizabeth is leaving the organization on a high note. She leaves it financially sound and having accomplished a great deal, leading the organization from a start-up quarterly magazine to a multi-media organization with books, a podcast, and an emerging education arm—all produced in collaboration with our 30 partners, who represent the best museums, historical societies, and libraries across the state, and with our generous supporters and donors. We’re excited to transition to new leadership on behalf of all of our loyal subscribers and partners as we move forward into our next 20 years, with Kathy Hermes at the helm.”

The Board of Connecticut Explored Inc. engaged National Executive Service Corps to conduct the search. 

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