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Cohen Steps Down as AHCA Executive Director

After 15 years of service as executive director of the Austin History Center Association, Jeff Cohen stepped down from the position at the end of October, 2023.

When Cohen began directing AHCA, the organization needed a fresh start in its programming and fundraising. Cohen, working together with AHCA’s talented and passionate board leaders and volunteers, gave the organization fresh energy.

During Cohen's tenure as executive director, AHCA’s core programs flourished. The Oral History Committee conducted 175 interviews, Waterloo Press published 8 books, and the Communications Committee launched a new AHCA website and expanded digital communications with members. Two annual signature events were revived: the annual Angelina Eberly Luncheon, a fundraiser, and the Katherine Drake Hart Award, which cites outstanding historical work in the community. More recently, AHCA launched Our Austin Sound and great membership events such as the Spotlight, History Mystery, and Fuller Circle.

Financially, the organization is supported by a startup $1 million endowment, and a growing set of restricted funds for campus expansion and program development.

More broadly, with Cohen as executive director, AHCA fulfilled and elevated its role as a staunch advocate for expansion of the Austin History Center into the John Henry Faulk Library Building. In 2018, Austin voters approved $14 million in library bonds to fund current infrastructure renovation and repair projects. The AHCA and Austin Public Library continue working to formalize their partnership, which will put AHCA in a position to raise public and private capital to create a true archival campus and permanent exhibits of Austin’s history.

“We owe Jeff Cohen a huge debt of gratitude for his significant contributions to the growth of the Austin History Center and our organization,” said AHCA President Charles Peveto. “We wish him a great journey ahead."

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