Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Meet Our Staff: Nicole Thurston, Executive Director

Over the next few weeks, we will feature our staff members at the Cannonball House. We hope by showcasing the wonderful people who spend their days serving the home, that each of you will feel like you know us just a little bit better.

Up Next - Nicole!

Name: Nicole Thurston, aka Wonder Woman

Title: Executive Director

How long have you worked at the Cannonball House?

Since November 2014

What exactly do you do for the house?

I handle the day-to-day operations of the museum. I think the official definition is: Provides leadership in the management of the organization. Directs and participates in fundraising, marketing, development of strategic vision, collection development, general management, financial management and fostering volunteer/board/city relations of the Cannonball House.

Did you get all of that?

What do you like the most about your job?

I absolutely love the beauty of the house. Sometimes I have to pinch myself. The history, the collections, how wonderful our Board of Directors are - all of it is amazing! I absolutely love my job! If I need a break, I simply go sit on one of the rocking chairs out front over looking Mulberry Street, or perhaps stroll through our Victorian Garden. I know, I know.. I'm lucky in so many ways.

What did you do before coming to the Cannonball House?
I got my Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications (Broadcast Journalism) from Georgia College & State University. I worked in television news for a few years at 13WMAZ. Even won myself an Associated Press Award while there, for Best Public Affairs Reporting (for a documentary we did!) Later, like all good journalists, I transitioned into media relations/public relations and worked for the Girl Scouts as their Communications/Program Specialist. I eventually moved to Birmingham, there I worked as the Marketing and Communications Director for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for eastern Tennessee, Alabama, and the panhandle of Florida. I eventually made my way back to Macon and was the Director of Sales & Marketing for the Tubman African American Museum.

Not only do I work at the Cannonball House now, but I also freelance write for the 11th Hour. (I typically cover new and upcoming restaurants/businesses and very cool people.) I also write for Macon Magazine. So yes, the journalist never left me. It's in my blood. At the end of the day - everything and everyone has a story. Just like this house.

What do you do for fun?

I am a voracious reader! I always carry at least two books with me at all times - one fiction and one non fiction. I also blog and take waaay too many photographs (yes, I am that person. You and the food you eat are not safe from my snapping away!) I also enjoy traveling. I'm a bit of a road warrior. I spend 4 nights in middle Georgia, the rest.. well who knows! I've recently gotten into cooking and gardening.

I also serve my community by sitting on several different boards: Macon Volunteer Clinic, American Cancer Society, Star Choices, Inc, Centenery Community Ministries, and the Georgia Arts Network. I'm also a member of the Downtown Macon Rotary.

What do you love most about Macon?

Where do I begin? I love, love, love the architecture. Our town is really quite beautiful. Plus, I have never been in a town that has more going on during the week! When people tell me there is nothing, I am shocked. It's there - you've got to look for it. (I recommend, Macon Magazine or the 11th Hour.) The downtown scene is really booming! I can't say I have a favorite, because they are all really good! I also love the incredible amount of talent just roaming the streets! My advice - Get out there and have some fun! From live theater, live music, gourmet food, art - you name it, we've got it!

Where were you born?

Macon, Georgia!

Any final thoughts?

Give the Cannonball House a try! If you have a kid, bring them to Millie's Story Time. Looking for a girl's afternoon out? Then come to the tea parties. Love history? Then take our 45 minute private tours. Looking for the perfect place to host a bridal shower or wedding? Then look no further! If you like to have a good time? Beards, Bourbon & Bacon is my personal baby! I promise, you won't regret it. Also, we are always looking for volunteers!

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