The End of an Era

By Mickey Myers

Bryan Memorial Gallery sent the following press release to its press contacts this week.

Bryan Memorial Gallery
Jeffersonville, VT
Susan Lassiter’s Presidency concludes after 8 Years;
Julie Brown succeeds her.

Susan Lassiter of Underhill, a Vice President of Union Bank and Manager of its Jeffersonville branch, stepped down as President of the Bryan Memorial Gallery Board at the Gallery Annual Meeting after a tenure of eight years.  Joining the board originally in 2008, Lassiter assumed the role of President unexpectedly in 2011 on an “interim” basis, but was subsequently re-elected annually for the next seven one-year terms.

Susan LassiterShe is succeeded by Julie Brown of Jeffersonville, whose term became effective immediately.  Brown was originally elected to the Bryan Gallery Board in 2018, and served as co-chair of the Gallery’s On Line Auction Committee.

Lassiter’s involvement with The Bryan began through her association with the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, where she was Branch manager of the Stowe branch of Union Bank.  While there, she volunteered on the Helen Day’s Gala Committee, working alongside Mickey Myers, then HDAC Executive Director.  Shortly after Lassiter moved to the Jeffersonville branch of Union Bank, Myers became Director of Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, and their association resumed.

Susan LassiterLassiter remembers saying to Myers, “. . . . but I don’t know anything about art,” to which Mickey replied, “You don’t have to know anything about art.”  Myers reflects that Lassiter’s enthusiasm for the Gallery and her involvement with the community through Cambridge Rotary and the Cambridge Arts Council brought a vitality to the Gallery that remains tangible to this day.   “Wherever Susan goes, she talks about the Gallery,” Myers commented, “She’s a one person public relations marvel, and the Gallery has benefited from her leadership every day.”

Myers remarked that Lassiter’s willingness to support new programs and outreach to the community has enhanced the Gallery’s profile as a leading center for landscape art, now in its 35th year.

Lassiter will remain on the board in the capacity of Immediate Past President and Chair of the Special Events Committee.  Myers concluded “Fortunately Susan is not going far and Julie Brown is the perfect successor.  So the Gallery is doubly blessed as we move into the future.”

Postscript:  That’s the conclusion of the press release, but it is not the conclusion of the enormous impact Susan Lassiter has had on the Gallery and the community. Though we rarely articulated it because we didn’t have to, it has been a mutual pleasure to partner with Susan, President and Executive Director, for all these many years.  It was such an easy partnership that the work and the ideas just flowed from one to another, back and forth, all the time.

I don’t think I ever heard Susan say, “No” to a new idea, and her articulation of her concerns was always supportive and full of integrity.  That kind of support is an Executive Director’s dream and a great legacy for the arts in Vermont, which have thrived under Susan’s leadership in our corner of Lamoille County and beyond.