The Germanna Foundation is pleased to announce its recent hire of Ashley Abruzzo, who joins the Foundation team as its Membership Development Manager. Within this role, Ashley will focus on fundraising and membership relations, community outreach, and event planning.
“As a Germanna descendant, I am very excited to be working for the Germanna Foundation and bringing more awareness to the historical and cultural significance of what the Foundation stands for,” Abruzzo said. “Germanna is not only an important piece of Virginia’s early history, but the entire country’s as well.”
2017 marks the 300th anniversary of German Lutherans arriving at Germanna, which makes things even more significant for Abruzzo.
“My 7th great-grandfather was Jacob Crigler and founded Criglersville in Madison County. He was one of many to arrive with that second wave of colonists in 1717, so to be a part of this organization in any capacity for the 300th anniversary is personally significant.”
“We are very excited to welcome Ashley onboard the Germanna Foundation staff,” said President Marc Wheat. “She will connect up Germanna supporters with one another and deepen the relationships across our 300-year-old community.”
Abruzzo comes to the Germanna Foundation after two years as the Tourism & Marketing Manager for The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, a nonprofit organization that brings awareness of history, education, conservation and preservation to a 180-mile swath of land ranging from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Charlottesville, Virginia.
“My role within The Journey encompassed many areas: handling itineraries for domestic and international visitors, marketing and merchandising, and leading the Certified Tourism Ambassador training that allows people from throughout the Journey Through Hallowed Ground to become more knowledgeable about the region they work in. I interacted with people in the tourism industry ranging from small local businesses to historic sites, hotels, visitor centers, and more.”
“While we were sad to see her go, we are happy that she is going to be working for one of our many partners,” said Journey President & CEO Bill Sellers. “We love what the Germanna Foundation does and Ashley will be a vital part of our ongoing partnership.”
“I look forward to going out into the community and sharing the history of Germanna and making personal connections with everyone. I invite everyone who goes by the Germanna Foundation Visitor Center to stop in sometime and say hi!”
The Germanna Foundation owns some 240 acres of the original Germanna settlement, maintains a 100,000 person descendant database, and has published histories and genealogies about Germanna and her families as it has since 1956. It operates a Visitor Center (which includes a small library, museum, and memorial garden) on Foundation land that surrounds the Germanna Community College’s Locust Grove campus, whose property was donated by the Foundation to build the campus in 1969. The Foundation also owns a nearby 18th century mansion, “Salubria” (built by Lt. Gov. Spotswood’s widow) in Culpeper County, and the Hitt Family cemetery in Fauquier County.
The Germanna Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1956 with a mission to preserve the early American heritage that began at Fort Germanna in 1714 through: (1) Education of the general public and descendants of those early Virginia colonists; (2) Land conservation and archaeological investigation; (3) Preservation of family records, historic structures, sites, and cemeteries; (4) Cultivation of transatlantic relations. For more information, visit www.germanna.org and www.facebook.com/GermannaFoundation.