Manatee Village Historical Park would like to introduce our new staff members:
Jeffrey Brown, Ph.D., Curator
Dr. Brown is a Polk County native from a long line of Florida natives. He earned his B.A. and Ph.D. in history from University of South Florida and M.A. in history from San Diego State University.
Jeffrey says "Many history majors spend their lives in academe, only other academics see their work. I wanted to do something more accessible than write a library brick – a book representing years of work that no one would read and that just sits on the shelves. Because of that, I pursued museum work as a career. Also I am active in historical reenacting as a hobby; another way to bring history to people outside a rigid classroom environment."
When asked to describe something funny about his first days here, Jeffrey said "I’m not used to carrying so many keys. I used the back door beside my office to take a break on the balcony thinking I had unlocked the door behind me and not carrying my keys. I ended up locking myself out of the Wiggins Store and onto the second floor balcony!"
Contact Jeffrey for questions or concerns about artifacts, collections, or exhibits.
Allyson O'Leary, Education & Volunteer Coordinator
O'Leary earned her B.A. degree in anthropology from University of South Florida. She previously interned with the Collections Department of The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature (formerly South Florida Museum).
Allyson says "I’m a local who has a deep love and appreciation for education and museums. I’m really looking forward to getting to share my love for education and museums with our guests!"
When asked to share a fun fact about herself, Allyson said "Can’t function without coffee!"
Contact Allyson for questions or concerns about field trips, volunteer activities, character acting, or History Day Club, or Guest Speakers.
Rachel DesRosier, Events & Marketing Coordinator
DesRosier earned her B.A degree in anthropology from the University of South Florida. She previously led marketing and events for a nonprofit organization in Georgia.
Rachel says "I'm a sixth generation Floridian and glad to be back where I belong! I hope to increase our reach and draw in visitors who might not ordinarily visit. Sometimes a subject that seems boring becomes meaningful when it's presented a different way by people who already know and feel its importance."
When asked to share something people might want to know, Rachel said "If you're ever unsure which of us is Allyson or myself, just remember I'm the fun-sized one (I'm short)!"
Contact Rachel for questions or concerns about public events, private rentals, or social media.