Lake Wales Museum hires organizing director from Tallahassee
The Lake Wales History Museum has appointed Melissa Stoller as Executive Director.
Stoller has served the past eight years as executive director of the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation, the museum said in a press release. She will take up her new duties on July 12.
“We are very pleased to welcome Melissa to the Lake Wales History Museum team and look forward to working with her. We believe Melissa will have a powerful impact on our museum and continue to lead us into a bright future,” said Brandon Alvarado, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees, said in the statement, “As we approach the museum’s 50th anniversary in 2026, the board and I are confident in its ability to fulfill the museum’s mission. , to facilitate the growth of the museum and its events and to introduce the museum to a new generation of lake dwellers. ”
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Stoller earned a doctorate in historical and cultural aspects of the near environment from Oregon State University, according to the release. She also holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Oregon.
In his role with the Tallahassee organization, Stoller performed architectural studies of resources ranging from mid-century modern structures to historic neighborhoods around Florida A&M University. She also conducted education and outreach programs, including a walking tour of 1930s architecture, according to the release.
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Stoller’s management helped list residential and commercial properties on the local and national Register of Historic Places, including the 1909 Tallahassee Water Works building, according to the release. She has served on the City of Tallahassee Historic Property Grant and Loan Program Committee and actively advocated for the preservation and rehabilitation of local historic properties.
Stoller spent her childhood in Tampa.
“I’m proud of my time at the Tallahassee Trust, but I’m ready for the next adventure and to return home to Central Florida,” Stoller said. “Rest assured that although I was raised on the West Coast, I am a Florida girl at heart.”
Stoller will succeed Jennifer D’hollander, who left the Lake Wales History Museum in March after four years to become director of business development for Z Axis Solutions in Winter Haven. Anderson Hanna, Curator of Collections, serves as Acting Executive Director.
The museum, founded in 1976 and formerly known as the Lake Wales Depot Museum, occupies the 1928 station of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It holds approximately 25,000 items in its historical collection.