by Paul R. Spitzzeri
After over three decades as a vital contributor to the Homestead’s success as a historic site museum, Alexandra Rasic recently resigned as our programs and audience engagement director to take her career to the next level by accepting the position of executive director of The Gamble House Conservancy, a non-profit which operates the renowned Craftsman-style masterpiece, completed in 1908 for Proctor and Gamble scions David and Mary Gamble and designed by architects Charles and Henry Greene, and which announced her appointment yesterday.
Alex’s departure, after five years as a volunteer during her high school and college years and twenty-six years as a paid staff member, most of that time spent overseeing our public programs and community engagement projects, makes for the biggest adjustment we have made with our staffing in twenty years.
It is hard to overstate the impact Alex had for the Homestead over her long tenure as she had a major impact, through her unfailingly supportive and forward-thinking attitude strong work ethic, and team spirit, on the growth of events like The Victorian Fair and Ticket to the Twenties festivals; the redefining the museum’s branding and logo; outreach to the public through print and social media, the website and this blog; and mentoring of those who worked with her in our public programs section, including Gennie Truelock and Jennifer Scerra, who will use what they learned working with Alex in additional to their talents and skills, to continue the excellent work in the museum’s programming.
For all of these professional attainments, what Alex also demonstrated for the museum and will, of course, add to her considerable abilities with The Gamble House is empathy, thoughtfulness, caring and a willingness to go the extra mile to help others, be they her colleagues, volunteers and visitors. Obviously, we are going to greatly miss all of her attributed and accomplishments, but are also looking forward to hearing how her new adventure goes in Pasadena and are also glad that she will be much closer to home so she can spend more time with her family and fewer hours on the freeway.
As just the third director, suceeding longtime Executive Director Edward (Ted) Bosley, and the first woman in that position in the history of The Gamble House, we are confident she will be a success in her new job and help lead that remarkable historic site with both great skill and considerable aplomb. As stated in the announcement of her hiring, “her demonstrated skills in developing public programs and keen focus on emerging rends in the historic house world are an ideal fit for The Gamble House.”
Notably, Alex visited the house while in high school and was inspired to develop a History Day project, taken to the state competition, on how the Industrial Revolution was reflected through architecture. She has maintained a deep affection for The Gamble House ever since, including driving by it on a regular basis while living nearby and as her sons Daniel and Henri went to an adjacent preschool. So, on both the personal and professional levels, this is an opportunity for Alex to continue her growth and development and take her talents to the next level.
In the announcement, Alex said that “few museum experiences are as intimate as visiting a historic house museum, let alone one that stands alone as a complete work of art like The Gamble House. While it’s not a home that most people could aspire to own in their lifetime, the opportunity to experience a visit, and be inspired by the craftsmanship, passion, and ideas that went into creating it — and still go into caring for it today — are relatable and inspiring to a wide audience.”
Bosley, who will remain on the Conservancy’s Board of Trustees as executive director emeritus, expressed his enthusiasm by stating, “I am thrilled that Alex Rasic emerged as the top candidate to succeed me. She has her finger firmly on the pulse of house museum audiences, and I know she will do a terrific job leading The Gamble House into the future.”
We at the Homestead heartily second that sentiment and wish Alex every success and our very best wishes as she embarks on this exciting next phase of her professional career and personal life, while looking forward to collaborative possibilities between the Homestead and The Gamble House. Lastly, we thank her with all the gratitude we can muster for all she did to make the museum the success that it has been during her years with the institution.