Upper Arlington News

Upper Arlington Historical Society

Director 'passionate' about preserving stories


A 20-year Upper Arlington resident has been tapped to lead the community's historical society as its new executive director.

Melanie Circle Brown will take the reins March 1, reporting to a nine-member board of directors. She replaces Kate Kallmes, who was executive director for more than two years.

In addition to living in UA for two decades, Brown is a member of the Association of Personal Historians and is founder of Circle of Life Histories, a business that preserves client histories through research and writing services.

She also has been a historical society member for more than four years and since last July, has hosted UA Memories, a forum for residents and others to share community stories and photographs on the Upper Arlington Historical Society website, www.uahistory.org.

"She been involved with the society on a number of things," President Charlie Groezinger said. "She's the perfect candidate."

Groezinger said Brown has experience in fundraising. She also earned a degree in communications from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

Those were among the reasons the board selected Brown to head the nonprofit's publicity, membership and revenue efforts, he said.

"Her role basically is to be the face of the organization," Groezinger said. "She'll be involved in a little bit of everything."

Brown said her interests and skills complement the historical society. She hopes to build society membership, partnerships and sponsorships.

"We're entering the four-year period before the centennial (2018)," she said. "It's an exciting time."

Along with community relations, planning for events such as the centennial celebration, the May 18 induction of Mary Egerton Miller into the Upper Arlington Wall of Honor and a fall historical home tour will be among the new director's first projects.

"I'm passionate about local history and preserving stories," Brown said. "I think all communities are enriched when they know their own history.

"That's the role the historical society can play."