Althemese Pemberton BarnesFlorida

Althemese Pemberton Barnes founded the John G. Riley Museum in 1996, serving as the executive director; in 1997 she established the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network, a statewide professional museum association. She had a career of 30 years with Florida’s Departments of Education and Labor, retiring in 1995. Her works include: several oral history and cultural development projects, historical publications, heritage trail maps, guides, and documentaries. She is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, the Florida Association of Museums, the National Association of African American Museums, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Ms. Barnes received a B.S. and an M.S. from Florida A&M University. In 2013, Ms. Barnes oversaw the construction of a $300,000 Visitors Center addition to the Riley Museum property. She left a $900,000 Endowment Fund invested for the upkeep of both the Center and Riley House for the future upon her retirement as Executive Director in October 2014. Continuing her work in historic preservation, Althemese worked with the City of Tallahassee and Leon County Governments, and co-chaired a Smokey Hollow Commemoration Group. In September 2015, Althemese received the Greater Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Leadership Award, the highest annual award of this organization. (Term expires December 6, 2015)