Pamela Yameen began her affiliation with the LHC-Lawrence History Center (founded in 1978 as the ICA-Immigrant City Archives) after she graduated from Wheaton College in 1979. She first met Eartha Dengler, founder, at the Lawrence Heritage State Park at a time when the importance of historic preservation was just starting to be realized.
At that time, Pamela was working on an exhibit for the ALAA-American Lebanese Awareness Association which resulted in a Lebanese exhibit for ICA/LHC that helped grow their ethnic collection.
Pamela proceeded to volunteer her time working on the LHC slide collection and was soon invited to join the board of directors by Eartha. Pamela excelled in growing the organizations membership, raising funds, and orchestrating a myriad of events.
Pamela’s role on the board afforded her many opportunities to strengthen the organization. She moved into officer positions fairly early on and has led the organization as president for the last 12 years. Across several decades, through both lean times and positions of strength, Pamela’s efforts and leadership allow us to pass on to her successor an organization that is strong in its collections, programming, and financial wellbeing.
Under her long-term leadership, Pamela has helped to:
- Transition the organization from a volunteer and founder driven organization to a professionally staffed, board driven organization.
- Build a board of directors that is able to engage the community of Lawrence, grow the collections, and meet the needs of the organization.
- Design a vibrant mix of programs, an active and interactive social media presence, and events that create a sense of place and engagement for Lawrencians from around the corner and around the world.
- Preserve the Essex Company complex at 6 Essex Street, Lawrence – a site located on the National Register of Historic Places. The Essex Company built the city of Lawrence and LHC is preserving their home and the collections within.
- Organize and make accessible our collections in-house and through digitization efforts.
- Further the goals and vision of Eartha Dengler and the LHC mission to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.
Pamela is perhaps most proud of the three humanities and collection-based academic symposiums LHC has held since 2012 (with a fourth scheduled in 2018). Encouraging community around scholarly research at all levels has made the Lawrence History Center an active partner locally and through expanding networks nationally.
Pamela has great respect for her fellow board members, staff, and volunteers for their continued efforts. She holds her successor, Mike Hearn, in high regard – confident in his ability to lead the 2017-2018 board of directors and LHC forward as its 40th anniversary approaches in 2018.
Sentiments from colleagues across the years...
Pamela has been the soft spoken devoted captain for many years. Some of those years have been tumultuous and quite scary. She faced financial instability and personnel problems head on and always made decisions that strengthened the Center. She will always be remembered for her vision, her quiet tenacity, and her devotion to the city and the Center. She surely will be missed, but never forgotten.
~ Chet Sidell
While I was thinking about what I would write about Pam, it occurred to me that I believe she has more connections to people in Lawrence and the Merrimack Valley than anyone else I know. Pam has always had her heart in this community with a natural impulse to help people and organizations to make valuable connections. When Pam sees opportunity, she acts on it. She is completely selfless in supporting her family, family business, friends, and the greater community with her presence, active engagement, and financial commitment.
Pam and I have worked together at the Lawrence History Center and the Essex Art Center for many years. She is someone I deeply admire. Pam believed in Eartha’s vision for the archive and has supported it from the beginning. Pam represents everything a non-profit needs in a leader. Her guidance of the board established a clear vision that provided direction and support to staff and volunteers. Intelligent, thoughtful, caring, responsible, ethical, humble, strategic, hard working, and high-energy, she is a constant friend to any organization she is connected with, broadly supporting community causes in Lawrence and beyond.
Pam may be retiring from the presidency but her commitment to this organization and what it represents for the City of Lawrence will endure. Thank you, Pam, you are an inspiration.
~ Karen Van Welden-Herman
Pamela Yameen has guided the Lawrence History Center through many changes and developments, and can rightfully take significant credit for the position the LHC currently finds itself in. Through her steady advice and oversight, the LHC has grown into a stronger and more impactful organization. It has become a cultural fixture for the Lawrence community, and is positioned to expand its impact going forward. The Greater Lawrence area is indebted to her dedication and commitment.
~ Mike Hearn
Pamela is a connector. She has innate ability to connect people that will benefit both personally and professionally. Over the years of working together I have seen this on many occasions as she continues to be a strong dedicated support of the city of Lawrence.
~ Kathleen Curry
Always enthusiastic, a friend of all, a great ally of young people, and a treasure to the community.
~ Jurg Siegenthaler
Pam, ya done Tower Hill proud. I just hope some of your positive energy and stick-to-it-ive-ness has rubbed off on me. Thanks for everything.
~ Jim Beauchesne
It is hard for me to imagine the Lawrence History Center without Pam as president. While it is fitting and appropriate that she turn the presidency over at this time, I hope and expect that she will continue to extend many skills and abilities to the organization in the future.
When I came on the Board 6 years ago, LHC was still in transition, testing the parameters of its mission. Pam's leadership was needed to help steer a steady path to LHC's now more secure position as the collector and preserver of Lawrence's immigrant history. As the leading educational force for transmitting that history to today's citizens. Including the children, LHC is responsible for increasing awareness Lawrence's rich heritage, in a large part, due to Pam. Thank you, Pam.
~ Jim Sutton
Pam is so good at making connections. She has the ability to see the situation clearly and recognize all the possibilities. Pam always sees the good in everything. She is a great asset to the City of Lawrence.
~ Leslie Costello
Pamela Yameen's long and faithful stewardship at Lawrence History Center reflects a deep commitment to the city of her birth, drawn from her family, her education, and her generous spirit. A job well done, Pamela!
~ Tom Caffrey
When I came onto the History Center board there were numerous transitions underway and Pam kept all of the balls juggling; none hit the floor. The LHC came out the other side as a stronger and more community-engaged institution. Pam has served as board chair while the LHC received more and more grant funding for its work. The Center has hosted academic symposia, built an exhibit to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1912 Brad & Roses Strike and it has become a provider of first-rate summer programming for Lawrence school children. All in all, the LHC is one of the strongest local history centers in the United States. This is testimony to the important role Pam has played in building the institution. My warmest thanks.
~ Robert Forrant
Pamela Yameen, a Lawrencian by upbringing and commitment, has been a true disciple of the mission of Immigrant City Archives/Lawrence History Center, set forward almost four decades ago by its founder, Eartha Dengler.
From its earliest days, as a researcher and contributor of her Lebanese heritage, to her leadership in encouraging community-led and professionally driven conferences to explore the contributions of Lawrence and its people to our history and heritage, Pamela has given her voice, her time, and her energy to strengthen and build this organization.
Pamela has encouraged partnerships with other organizations, especially the Lawrence Heritage State Park and schools in our area, she has volunteered her time with other non-profits, and has served on the Greater Lawrence Summer Fund to help ensure recreational, educational and enriching summer activities for young people in our communities.
Pamela’s continued leadership as Past President will help continue the quality and vision of ICA/LHC through an experienced perspective connecting yesterday, today and tomorrow.
~ Patricia Karl (founder, retired), Lawrence Family Development Charter School
Pam, you have been the quiet force behind LHC’s amazing endurance and growth for the last 20 years. You are warm, gentle, tireless, patient, and wise– and it has made all the difference.
~ Marcia Sharp
Pam, your commitment to the Lawrence History Center over the last 40 years is nothing short of incredible. Your passion, leadership, and generosity have made the LHC what it is today. You're a natural at relationship building and making connections. From the moment I started as an intern your leadership and encouragement have inspired me. You are invaluable both to the organization and to our community. Thank you!
~ Amita Kiley