The Battle of Franklin Trust is looking for a new C.E.O.

The Franklin Civil War preservation community was shocked to learn on Saturday that the Battle of Franklin Trust board is not renewing the contract of CEO Jennifer Esler. It was due to renew March 1st.

Esler, who previously held a leadership post in Virginia, worked in that capacity for just one year.

What is the BOFT be looking for in a new CEO?

I contacted the Trust to ask what they were looking for in a CEO, and what goals or objectives they want the new leader to focus on. They declined to provide anything more than the 2/26 brief statement.

The Battle of Franklin Trust Chairman of the Board of Directors Marianne Schroer announced today the Trust will not enter into a new contract with Jennifer Esler who served as the President and C.E.O. of the Trust effective today.

In making the announcement, Schroer said, “We appreciate the year Jenny spent working for the Battle of Franklin Trust, and we wish her well in her next endeavor.”

The Battle of Franklin Trust operates and manages Carnton Plantation and The Carter House in historic Franklin.   Eric Jacobson will continue to serve as Director of Operations of the Battle of Franklin Trust managing the operations for both sites.

So looking back on the original December 18, 2009 press release when the Trust first announced they hired Esler, one can only assume the goals/objectives they disclosed then are still relevant today.

The Battle of Franklin Trust appears to be looking for a CEO who can provide leadership and direction in these areas:

  • to further enhance the visitors experience of the historic Battle of Franklin and the sites related to the Battle.
  • developing the museum sites.
  • guide the Trust in the planning, development, and construction of a newly planned Carter House Interpretive Center & Museum related to the Battle of Franklin held November 30, 1864.

Since the Trust is not providing any further statements on what went awry, one is left to conclude that Esler apparently fell short of one or all of the above stated objectives.

This blogger and historic tourism supporter is curious of the following:

1. Are the above-stated objectives still current?  If not, what would the updated objectives be?  I think many of especially wonder if there are still plans to build a Carter House Interpretive Center.

2. Which objective(s) have the highest priority?

3. How long does the Trust expect the search for a new CEO to take?

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