Stories of Naperville

Nov 19

[ARCHIVED] Meet Peggy Frank

The original item was published from November 19, 2020 3:29 PM to November 23, 2020 8:42 AM

"While still in her 20s, Peggy Frank came to Naperville as Naper Settlement’s first professional employee. She retired 33 years later as CEO and President, being named President Emeritus. Originally hired as a curator, her leadership and vision helped transform the grassroots, volunteer driven Naperville Heritage Society into a strong, resilient professional organization. Her stewardship convinced volunteers, City Council, and the community of the importance of preserving our town’s history while making it relevant to today and demonstrating its value for tomorrow. 

During Peggy’s tenure museum attendance grew, educational programming expanded serving thousands of school children, thousands of new artifacts were collected and preserved in a state of the art storage facility, several long range strategic plans were realized including the relocation and restoration of historic buildings, construction of the Pre-Emption House, multi-million dollar restoration of the Martin-Mitchell Mansion, and the introduction of environmentally sustainable improvements throughout the 12 acre campus. The preservation, educational and programming work conducted by Peggy, the professional staff she recruited and developed, and volunteers of the Heritage Society garnered numerous national, state and regional awards. Encapsulating all of Peggy’s efforts was Naper Settlement’s two-time achievement of Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums underscoring that the outdoor history museum operated at the highest national standards. 

Most importantly, Peggy’s leadership ensured a bedrock foundation for Naperville’s community to expand upon its historical base, continue collecting and preserving to present day and provide a cultural and educational experience for school groups, residents, and out of town visitors."

Nominated by Ian Holzhauer