Gilmore Car Museum has appointed Chris Shires as executive director effective Jan. 2, 2017, replacing long-time director Michael Spezia who retires Feb. 15, 2017.
“Chris (Shires) has a strong background in museums and community relations” said Bill Parfet, chairman of the Gilmore Car Museum Foundation and grandson of founder Donald Gilmore.
“He will be stepping down as the executive director of the Holland Historical Trust and brings a wealth of museum operating experience to our organization”
Spezia joined the museum in 2001 and led the museum through the largest expansion in the organization’s fifty year history. “I’m very confident in turning the Gilmore Car Museum over to Chris,” he said. “His strong museum qualifications, experience, and desire to share history with the community will serve the future of the museum well.” Parfet pointed out that the Gilmore Car Museum has seen “phenomenal growth over the past 15 years with 2016, our 50th anniversary, marking the museum’s most successful year to date.” He acknowledged the significant role Spezia has played in its success. //
Shires, a Maryland native, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Marshall University in Huntington, WV, a Master of Arts in History and a graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.
Employed at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati for six years, Shires became director of interpretation and programs for the historic Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores in 2009.
For more about the Gilmore Car Museum visit, www.GilmoreCarMuseum.org or call 269-671-5089.