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Austin History Center Association Executive Director Steps Down After 15 Great Years

“We owe Jeff Cohen a huge debt of gratitude for his significant contributions to the growth of the Austin History Center and our organization,” said AHCA President Peveto. “We wish him a great journey ahead.

Jeff Cohen, Executive Director of the Austin History Center Association (AHCA) since the summer of 2008, retired from the position at the end of October, AHCA President Charles Peveto has announced.

 

When Cohen began directing AHCA, the organization needed a fresh start in its programming and fundraising. With Cohen working together with AHCA’s talented and passionate board leaders and volunteers, the organization began to thrive again.

 

Over the past 15 years, AHCA’s core programs flourished. Programs such as Oral History, which conducted 175 interviews in 12 years; Waterloo Press, which published 8 books;  the revival of the annual Angelina Eberly luncheon and fundraising event, and recently, incubation of the Our Austin Sound event; great membership events such as the Spotlight, History Mystery, and Fuller Circle, all launched since 2019; revival of the annual Katherine Drake Hart Award for outstanding historical work in the community; and the publication of print and electronic newsletters.

 

Cohen earned a Master of Social Work Degree at the University of Georgia in 1990. From 1990 to 2008, Cohen worked as a nonprofit consultant, and adjunct professor and lecturer at the University of Texas, Texas State, and St. Edwards University.

 

Cohen is very proud of the close relationship AHCA enjoys with the staff at the Austin History Center, and in support of the Austin History Center’s mission. AHCA has fulfilled and elevated its role as a staunch advocate for expansion of the Austin History Center into the John Henry Faulk Library Building.  In 2018, Austin voters approved $14 million in library bonds to fund current infrastructure renovation and repair projects. The table is now set for AHCA and Austin Public Library to formalize their partnership, with AHCA playing a leading role in raising public and private capital to create a true archival campus and permanent exhibits of Austin’s history. 

 

Financially, the organization today has a startup $1 million endowment, and a growing set of restricted funds for campus expansion and program development.

“We owe Jeff Cohen a huge debt of gratitude for his significant contributions to the growth of the Austin History Center and our organization,” said AHCA President Peveto. “We wish him a great journey ahead.

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