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Preservation Services Staff

Ann Marie Willer

Ann Marie Willer, Director of Preservation Services
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Ann Marie Willer has worked as a professional in the field of cultural heritage preservation since 2002. She has expertise in preservation program management, digitization workflows and best practices, the preservation of paper-based and audiovisual materials, and emergency preparedness and response. Under her oversight, the twelve members of the Preservation Services department provide consulting and instruction to institutions and individuals across the United States on the preservation of paper-based, photographic, digital, and audiovisual collections. She also cultivates connections to heritage institutions and related organizations and collaborates on projects of mutual benefit. At NEDCC, Ann Marie has served as Principal Investigator on grants totaling $3.35 million. In addition to managing the department’s budget, Ann Marie provides project management for awarded grants and for client jobs of significant scope.

In her role as Director of Preservation Services, Ann Marie has conducted general preservation assessments for heritage institutions across the country, from Maine to Washington. She has provided customized consultations and trainings (online and in-person) on topics such as collection security, emergency preparedness and response, environmental management, grant writing, preparing for renovation projects, and storage of audiovisual collections.  Ann Marie has presented at national and regional conferences on a wide range of topics including diversity and inclusion in libraries and archives, digital preservation assessment, audiovisual preservation, and preservation administration.

Ann Marie previously served as Preservation Librarian for the MIT Libraries and the University of North Texas Libraries and has pre-professional experience in special collections, exhibits, cataloging, and general collections conservation. She earned an MS in Library Science from the University of North Texas, an MA in Musicology from the Eastman School of Music, and a certificate from Rutgers’ Preservation Management Institute. 

Jesse Keel

Jesse Keel, Associate Preservation Specialist
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Jesse Keel is based in NEDCC’s Andover, MA office and provides preservation consultations, training programs, assessments, and disaster advice to a variety of cultural heritage organizations nationwide. Prior to joining NEDCC in 2023, Jesse was the Exhibits and Collections Manager at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home, where she previously served as House Manager. In addition, she has pre-professional experience in a historical society and a university library. Jesse earned an MA in English from the University of Vermont and an MLIS with a concentration in Archives Management from Simmons University.

Alyssa Magnone

Alyssa Magnone, Associate Preservation Specialist
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From her office in Aiken, South Carolina, Alyssa Magnone provides preservation consultations, training programs, assessments, and disaster advice to a variety of cultural heritage organizations nationwide. Prior to joining NEDCC in 2023, Alyssa was the Collections Manager at the Aiken County Historical Museum. She has over 8 years of experience working with art, archaeological, history, and natural history collections and has completed additional training in archives. Alyssa earned an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Florida and is a 2018 graduate of the Smithsonian’s Heritage Emergency & Response Training (HEART) and a 2022 graduate of the Georgia Archives Institute.

Mary Kate Kwasnik

Mary Kate Kwasnik, Associate Preservation Specialist
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From her office in Maine, Mary Kate Kwasnik provides preservation consultations, training programs, assessments, and disaster advice to a variety of cultural heritage organizations nationwide. Prior to joining NEDCC in 2024, she was the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at the Patten Free Library in Bath, ME; the Manager of Adult Programming at the New York Public Library; and the Manager of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. In addition, she has pre-professional experience as a museum educator. Mary Kate holds a Master’s of Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Megan Dirickson

Megan Dirickson, Assistant Preservation Specialist
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From her office near San Diego, CA, Megan Dirickson provides preservation consultations, training programs, assessments, and disaster advice to a variety of cultural heritage organizations nationwide. Prior to joining NEDCC, Megan was the Lead Records Management Analyst for the City and County of Honolulu and has served in library and archive positions around the country. In addition, she has pre-professional experience as an art conservation technician. Megan is a Certified Archivist and holds an MS in Information Studies from the University of Texas with a specialization in Archives and Records Enterprise and Preservation Studies.

"Ready — Or Not": Cultural Heritage Disaster Preparedness Project

Learn more about this project.

Hillary Ellis

Hillary Ellis, Lead Emergency Preparedness Consultant
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Hillary Ellis leads the "Ready—or Not" Cultural Heritage Disaster Preparedness Project, an initiative to assess emergency preparedness at California organizations that care for cultural and historic resources (e.g., archives, libraries, museums, and tribal nations). In this role, Hillary supervises a state-wide team of consultants and conducts on-site emergency preparedness assessments. The project is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. 

Hillary holds an MA of Art Conservation, Paintings, from Queen’s University. Prior to her tenure at NEDCC, she worked as a conservator in private practice. Most recently Hillary served as Director of Conservation at the Strong National Museum of Play, where she assisted with updating the disaster plan, developed a digital preservation policy, and worked to improve collections environmental monitoring and storage conditions. Hillary is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). 

Celeste Knight

Celeste Knight, Outreach and Travel Coordinator
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From her office in Albuquerque, NM, Celeste Knight provides outreach and travel support for the "Ready—or Not" Cultural Heritage Disaster Preparedness Project, which provides emergency preparedness assessments to California organizations that care for cultural and historic resources (e.g., archives, libraries, museums, and tribal nations). Celeste is a museum professional who has worked in guest experience and education with the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the University of New Mexico Art Museum. She holds an BA in Communication with a concentration in Intercultural Communication from the University of New Mexico and is fluent in English and Spanish.

Mario Anthony Gallardo

Mario Anthony Gallardo, Emergency Preparedness Consultant
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As part of the "Ready—or Not" Cultural Heritage Disaster Preparedness Project, Mario Anthony Gallardo provides emergency preparedness assessments to California organizations that care for cultural and historic resources (e.g., archives, libraries, museums, and tribal nations). Based in Los Angeles, CA, Mario is a Library and Archives professional who contributed to the International Digital Ephemera Project at UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library, worked as a records specialist at LACMA’s Balch Art Research Library, handled and reorganized collections at Loyola Marymount University’s Archives and Special Collections, and processed collections in Library Special Collections at UCLA’s Center for Primary Research and Training. He holds an MLIS with a specialization in Archival Studies from University of California, Los Angeles and is fluent in English and Spanish.

Jason Partida

Jason Partida, Emergency Preparedness Consultant
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As part of the "Ready—or Not" Cultural Heritage Disaster Preparedness Project, Jason Partida provides emergency preparedness assessments to California organizations that care for cultural and historic resources (e.g., archives, libraries, museums, and tribal nations). From his office in Merced, CA, Jason has traveled to Southern, Central, and Northern California to work with organizations ranging from CA State Parks, universities, archives, museums, and historical societies. Jason is a museum professional with five years experience working in various roles with the California State Capitol Museum, including responsibilities related to environmental monitoring, exhibit installation, facilities projects, integrated pest management, and staff training. He holds an MA in Public History from California State University at Sacramento and is fluent in English and Spanish. 

Özge Gençay Üstün

Özge Gençay Üstün, Emergency Preparedness Consultant
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As part of the "Ready—or Not" Cultural Heritage Disaster Preparedness Project, Özge Gençay Üstün provides emergency preparedness assessments to California organizations that care for cultural and historic resources (e.g., archives, libraries, museums, and tribal nations). Based in Los Angeles, CA, Özge is a conservation professional with 15 years of experience working with archaeological and indigenous collections, most recently at the Autry Museum of the American West, where her responsibilities included environmental monitoring, integrated pest management, collections conservation, repatriation, and research. She holds an MA in UCLA/Getty Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage and is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). Özge is fluent in English and Turkish.

Caroline Whyler

Caroline Whyler, Emergency Preparedness Consultant
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As part of the "Ready—or Not" Cultural Heritage Disaster Preparedness Project, Caroline Whyler provides emergency preparedness assessments to California organizations that care for cultural and historic resources (e.g., archives, libraries, museums, and tribal nations). Based in Sacramento, CA, Caroline has experience in collections management, exhibit design, and installation. Prior to her tenure at NEDCC, she was the Artifacts and Exhibits Manager for The Vacaville Museum and was previously part of a multi-disciplinary team with the California State Capitol Museum that focused on collections management and exhibit design. She holds an MA in History and an MA in Public History from California State University, Sacramento.