Fugenschuh takes helm at Milwaukee County Historical Society

The board of directors of the Milwaukee County Historical Society has named longtime philanthropy leader Deborah Fugenschuh the society’s new executive director.


Fugenschuh succeeds Scott Stroh, who left to become executive director of Gunston Hall in Lorten, Va., the historic home of founding father George Mason.

Since 1999, Fugenschuh has been president and CEO of the Donors Forum of Wisconsin, an organization that promotes philanthropy and trains grant-makers among family foundations, corporations and individuals. She grew the forum from 50 members to 140, with an annual budget of $800,000. Before that she was active in fundraising for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, United Way and other civic ventures.                                                                        

Randy Bryant, president of the historical society’s board of directors, said Fugenschuh was a perfect fit for the organization at a crucial period in its history. “Deborah’s proven fundraising and networking skills, her ability to inspire people and her broad knowledge of the community and its cultural resources will serve us well,” he said.

Fugenschuh said: “It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected to lead this important cultural institution. I look forward to working with the board and staff to ensure the society remains strong and plays a critical leadership role in preserving the history of this amazing county we live in.”

The society, founded in 1935 and housed in the 100-year-old former Second Ward Savings Bank downtown, collects and preserves materials related to the history of the county, including artifacts, genealogical and census records, maps and manuscripts, some 1 million photographs, three museum houses and one historic site. The agency is based at 910 N. Old World Third St.

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