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June 02, 2022

The Connecticut Historical Society Names Four New Trustees







Connecticut Historical Society Names Four New Trustees

HARTFORD, CT – The Connecticut Historical Society continues its commitment to growing a diverse and prestigious Board of Trustees with the recent election of three new members and one Honorary Trustee during the 2022 annual Members’ Meeting. Tammy Exum, Denise Merrill, and JoAnn Price were each elected to a three-year term, and Lawrence Mowell was elected as a lifetime honorary trustee at the May 2022 Annual Meeting. 


Tammy Exum (West Hartford) 

As Deputy Majority Leader of the CT House of Representatives, Ms. Exum is responsible for aiding the majority leader with developing policy, crafting the agenda of the majority party, and ensuring operations run smoothly on the floor. Ms. Exum currently serves on the Education, Commerce and Higher Education committees. 

After earning her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Ms. Exum started her career as an elementary school teacher. She moved to West Hartford with her family in 1999 after earning her Master’s in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University and being recruited by the Otis Elevator company. 

Ms. Exum is the former vice chair of the West Hartford Board of Education. She is a founding member, former president, and executive board member of the West Hartford Special Education PTA. As the former West Hartford coordinator for the Parent Leadership Training Institute, Ms. Exum is known as an advocate that listens to the concerns of people from all corners of her community. 


Denise Merrill (Hartford) 

Denise W. Merrill is serving her third term as Connecticut’s 73rd Secretary of the State and has focused on modernizing Connecticut’s elections, business services and improving access to public records. 

Secretary Merrill was elected President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) during the 2016 Presidential Election. Merrill created and served as Chair of the NASS Task Force on the Cybersecurity of Elections.  

Prior to her election as Secretary of the State, Secretary Merrill served as State Representative from the 54th General Assembly District for 17 years. Secretary Merrill rose to the rank of House Majority Leader from 2009-2011. She also served as the House Chair of the budget writing Appropriations Committee from 2005-2009, as vice-chair of the Education Committee from 1994-1999 and as a member of the Government Administration and Elections Committee from 1995-1997.  

Secretary Merrill is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, is licensed to practice law in the state of California and is a classically trained pianist. 


JoAnn Price (Avon) 

JoAnn Price came to Farmington, CT in 1994 for the express purpose of founding what has become Fairview Capital Partners. Ms. Price served as a director of the Vantagepoint Funds, as a member of the CT Board of Regents for Higher Education, as board chair of the Amistad Center for Art and Culture, and most recently as the Board Chair of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Currently, she is a member of 4-CT Board of Directors, the Howard University School of Business Board of Visitors, board member of the Apollo Theater Foundation in New York City, board member of Trinity Health of New England, board member of the Blue Hills Civic Association, and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Wilson Gray YMCA.  

Ms. Price has been the recipient of numerous awards in the community, most recently as the recipient of the 2019 Hartford Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018 she was presented with the Women’s Venture Fund’s Highest Leaf Award, and in 2017 was the honoree of New York’s nonprofit LIFT. In 2015, Ms. Price was the recipient of the Greater Hartford Torch of Liberty award presented by the Anti-Defamation League, and in 2014 was awarded the title of the Village for Families & Children’s Woman of the Year.  

Ms. Price is a graduate of Howard University. 


Lawrence (Larry) Mowell (formerly of West Hartford)- Honorary Trustee  

Larry Mowell has been associated with the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History for more than two decades and served two six-year terms as a member of the Board of Trustees, including service on the Finance Committee and Executive Committee. 

A Stanford University and University of Connecticut Law School graduate, Mr. Mowell retired as a General Counsel from United Technologies Corporation. 

As Mr. Mowell finished his time in Connecticut, he and his wife Carle supported the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History with a major gift that allowed the Museum to build its Mowell Family Digitization Lab. 

The Mowells now reside in California. 


Sylvia Bush Kelly of Southington was also elected to serve as the President of the Board of Trustees for a one-year term. Ms. Kelly has served on the Board of Trustees since July of 2017. Michael Cantor of West Hartford (who served as President of the Board of Trustees for the last year) was elected to serve as Chair for a one-year term. 

Other newly elected officers of the Board of Trustees include Fiona Vernal of Manchester (First Vice President), Henry M. Zachs of Farmington (Second Vice President), Bichop J. Nawrot of Bloomfield (Vice President and Chair of Investment Committee), Portia Corbett of Farmington (Secretary), and David Klein of Hartford (Treasurer). 

Incoming President of the Board of Trustees Kelly said, “We are pleased to welcome these three distinguished leaders to our Board of Trustees. Their diverse experience and expertise will continue to strengthen our state’s 197-year-old, independent, not-for-profit, history museum and library. We are fortunate to have their dedication and myriad talents and expertise, and we are thankful for their service.” 

The Connecticut Historical Society ( is a privately funded, independent, not-for-profit educational organization that includes a museum, library, the Edgar F. Waterman Research Center, and the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program. Founded in 1825, the CHS is Connecticut’s statewide historical society, and a Smithsonian Affiliate. At the CHS, we cultivate understanding of the history and culture of Connecticut, and its role in the United States and the world. Through our collections, research, educational programs, and exhibitions we reflect the past, actively engage with the present, and innovate for the future.


Contact: Marissa Baum

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