Village News (February 14, 2019)
By Barry Dyck
The time has come to pass the torch, hand over the keys, change the sign on the office door, or whatever other metaphor one might apply to the situation. My term as Executive Director at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) has come to an end, and retirement has begun. As of Monday, February 11, Gary Dyck has assumed responsibility for the position.
To introduce Gary to our readers, I conducted a brief interview with him. He responded to five questions that I posed.
Welcome to Mennonite Heritage Village, Gary. Tell us about your background (growing up, education, previous work, etc.).
I grew up just a couple of miles north of MHV. In 1993 I graduated from the Steinbach Regional Secondary School (SRSS) with a double Marketing/Accounting diploma and eventually was able to complete a Master of Arts degree in Global Studies from Providence Seminary. I loved growing up in Steinbach, and with that solid foundation my family and I were able to go overseas for 18 years, where I served as a holistic development worker. My roles during my time in Central Asia and China included directing the Literature and Translation Department of a large humanitarian organization and founding an organic fertilizer company for low-income farmers.
What is it about MHV that attracted you to the role of Executive Director?
This past summer I moved back to Steinbach with my family. MHV was our first and second choice to reengage with our community. It truly is a world-class museum, covering 500 years of a history and culture that our world needs to know about and learn from. Working at MHV is a terrific opportunity for me to rejoin a community I treasure and to use my social entrepreneurship skills for good.
Tell us about some of your first priorities in this role?
There are always the urgent needs of maintaining the heritage buildings, but I also want to focus on the long-term work of making MHV more self-sustainable. My personal priority is to develop strong relationships with the staff, volunteers and wider community. I myself can only do so much, but with a community engaged, a lot more can be accomplished.
What visions for the future do you already have for MHV?
Oh, where do I begin? MHV has and can have so many roles. It is a wonderful resource for history, education, life skills, mental health, culture and community development. One vision I have is to increase therapeutic use of MHV for the enhancement of physical, mental and emotional health in our community. Our beautiful setting offers much to contemplate and receive from.
What else would you like our readers to know?
I am very thankful for this opportunity. I look forward to getting to know many of you and working alongside you.
Calendar of Events
February 15, Teen Gala – Western Night – 7:00 PM
February 16, MHV Winter Carnival – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
March 3, Vespers Service – 7:00 PM