Performance Counts: Welcoming New Staff

Posted on January 15th, 2016 by

Though we’ll be saying goodbye to Paul Simon this month, we’re also saying hello to two new staff members!

Tucker Hager

Tucker joins the JMM this month as the new manager of the JMM shop Esther’s Place. Tucker brings to the JMM extensive experience in museum retail establishments. In fact, Esther’s Place makes the fifth (!) museum store Tucker has managed, and his tenth retail establishment. A member of the Museum Store Association, Tucker has served as a consultant for other small Museum shops. Even more fortunate for us, all of that experience and expertise comes with a great sense of humor and a cheerful disposition!

Michael McCoy

Michael replaces our longtime custodian, Darrell Monteagudo, who recently retired. We are most grateful to Darrell for his many years of dedicated service to the JMM, for keeping our facilities clean and well organized and we wish him all the best with his future plans.

The Museum building and the historic synagogues have an able caretaker in our new custodian. Mike brings a decade and half of cleaning and maintenance experience to the Museum. He has experience both in keeping spaces hospital-clean (Kennedy Krieger Institute) as well as the demands of the hospitality industry (Suburban Club). His can-do, problem-solving attitude is already improving things at JMM: in his two weeks with us so far, he’s found new and better ways to organize and schedule our maintenance needs.

Stop by the Museum soon and help us make Tucker and Mike feel welcome!

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Welcome to Esther’s Place!

Posted on January 13th, 2016 by

If I told you that someone’s retirement inspired multiple proclamations from elected officials, long-distance travel from former colleagues, a spontaneous sing-along of nearly 200 people, the naming of institutions in their honor, and open weeping from other adults, you might think I was referring to a superhero.

You’d be right.

Image shows Esther Weiner looking back towards the camera.

The incomparable Esther Weiner.

Esther Weiner has personally welcomed thousands of visitors to the Jewish Museum of Maryland over the past 23 years. People entered the Museum shop as visitors, but they left it as friends. She made sure that everyone—from Board members to first-time visitors to her fellow staff—had the best possible experience on Lloyd Street.

In my brief time at the Museum, I learned a lot from Esther. I learned about what has worked and what hasn’t in the shop. I was reminded of the right way to treat a customer. I also learned a lot about Esther’s beloved family!

Esther on left is holding a bouquet of flowers. On right Tracie Guy-Decker is holding the "esther's place" plaque.

Me presenting Esther with the plaque.

At her retirement party, Baltimore City Councilwoman (and JMM Board Member) Rochelle “Rikki” Spector read two proclamations from city officials. Her colleagues toasted her. Members of the Museum’s board praised her (and lamented what they’ll do without her). Nearly 200 people belted out a song written in her honor, “Esther” (to the tune of Paul Simon’s “Cecelia”). Marvin announced the shop’s new name “Esther’s Place,” and installed a plaque to that effect. Not least of all, Esther herself delighted her well-wishers with remarks that perfectly represented her: full of warmth and humor, recognizing everyone, and shining with love.

Esther Weiner leaves big shoes to fill in the JMM Shop Esther’s Place.

Luckily, Esther’s Place’s new manager, Tucker Hager, has large feet (metaphorically speaking).

Image of Tucker Hager standing in the museum shop.

Welcome Tucker!

Tucker brings nearly a quarter century of museum retail experience to Esther’s Place—the fifth Museum shop he’s managed. I have no doubt that Tucker will live up to the high bar for customer service that Esther left behind. I’m excited about the ways in which Tucker’s Museum experience can help us build upon the strong foundation Esther left us. Tucker is already thinking about ways to expand the offerings in the shop to enhance the mission of the Museum and the visitor experience.

See you at Esther's Place!

See you at Esther’s Place!

Stop by Esther’s Place sometime soon and help us celebrate Esther and welcome Tucker!

Tracie Guy-DeckerA blog post by Associate Director Tracie Guy-Decker. Read more posts from Tracie by clicking HERE.

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