Cindy Gresser, Executive Director of the Museum of Indigenous People, to Retire Featured

Donna Werking June 12, 2021 111

Cindy Gresser is retiring to move to Tucson and spend time with her family.

Big Idea

  • Gresser has been the Executive Director of the Museum of Indigenous People for 12 years
  • She will be replaced by Manuel Lucero, the current Assistant Director
  • Gresser has also be on several committees for the City of Prescott
  • ‘Bama mine’
  •


A party will take place on June 19th to say goodbye to Cindy

The Museum of Indigenous People, formerly the Smoki Museum, announces that Cindy Gresser, Executive Director, will be retiring.  “While I still have work to do at the museum it is time for me to move to Tucson, and spend time with my family,” said Gresser.  “I have put a strong team in place, and I know that our mission and goals will be fulfilled with their leadership,” she further stated.  She plans on moving this summer. 

At their recent Board of Trustees meeting, the museum board promoted Assistant Director, Manuel Lucero to the position of Director.  Administrative Manager, Julie Rucker will assume the Assistant Director’s position.  Barbara Karkula, President of the Board of Trustees said, “The Museum is so fortunate to have strong, capable and knowledgeable staff to fill in behind Cindy.  We look forward to working closely with Manuel and Julie and give them our full support." 

Manuel Lucero has served as the Assistant Director of the museum for four years and added, “Going forward with the Museum, we will continue the work of our mission statement written by Cindy sixteen years ago:  ‘To instill understanding and respect for the Indigenous cultures of the southwest.’ 

 I feel blessed and honored to be following in the footsteps of a beautiful person whom I consider family. Thank you for your friendship and leadership, Cindy.”

Cindy Gresser has been the Executive Director of the Museum of Indigenous People for over 12 years.  Prior to her employment at the museum, she was a volunteer, beginning in 2002 and serving as Board President from 2004-2007. She has also served as the Sheriff of the Prescott Corral of Westerners, President of The Rotary Club of Prescott, City of Prescott:

Tourism Advisory Committee (10 years), created and chaired the Art in Public Places Committee (3 years), and Airport Passenger Terminal Art Commission.  Additionally, she is a member of the Prescott Powwow Committee and the Granite Mountain Gourd Society. 

“I love Prescott, and for the past twenty years have considered it my hometown.  I hope to stay involved in the community as well as the museum and continue to make positive changes for all,” Gresser said. 

​​​​​​​Karkula added, “There is no word for goodbye in Potawatomi. Instead, we say ‘bama mine’ or ‘until later’ as we expect we will continue to interact with Cindy in her new retiree role.”

A party in celebration of Cindy’s retirement will be held June 19th, 2021, from 5-7pm in the Museum of Indigenous People’s Pueblo Building and the rear parking lot.  All are welcome to attend, and we hope that you will stop by and wish her well.  If you would like to share food and fun with us, please RSVP to the museum phone number:  (928) 445-1230 so that we can prepare.  At 7pm, the party will move from MIP, to the VFW Lodge #541, 202 N. Arizona Avenue, next to the museum.

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Last modified on Saturday, 12 June 2021 03:47
Published in Prescott.news

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