Barclay Collins Assumes Board Chairmanship

J. Barclay Collins II has been elected the new chairman of the Museum's board of trustees.
Barclay Collins speaking at the annual Members’ Meeting on September 27.
Barclay Collins speaking at the annual Members’ Meeting on September 27.

J. Barclay Collins II was announced the new chairman of the Mystic Seaport board of trustees on September 27. He was elected by the Museum’s membership at their annual fall meeting.

A longtime executive in the energy industry, Collins recently retired as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Hess Corporation. Prior to joining Hess, he was Vice President and General Counsel of City Investing Company and an attorney with Cravath, Swaine and Moore, the New York law firm. Collins is a passionate advocate for health care, education, and the arts. He serves as the chairman of the board of the United Hospital Fund of New York and is on the board of the New York Botanical Garden among other philanthropies. An avid sailor, he is a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Shelter Island Yacht Club.

Collins earned an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. He joined the board at Mystic Seaport in 2008.

“We are very excited to have Barclay assume leadership of the board,” Museum President Steve White said. “He brings a level of professional expertise, institutional knowledge, and a passion for our mission that will help us succeed at developing new and exciting ways for the public to explore our collections and understand the importance of our shared maritime heritage.”

Collins succeeds Richard Vietor who served as chairman from 2007. White added his praise for the accomplishments of Vietor, saying, “The Museum is truly grateful for Richard’s leadership during one of the most challenging periods in the history of the institution. He guided us deftly through a difficult economic environment to not only put Mystic Seaport on sound financial footing, but also to enable us to embark on some of the transformational initiatives critical to the future of Mystic Seaport, including the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan and the construction of a new state-of-the-art exhibition building to transform the north end of our grounds.”

During Vietor’s tenure, the Museum restructured its finances and operations to become a debt-free institution. Vietor oversaw the restoration and launch of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the development of a new strategic plan for the institution and its collections, the initial work for the new exhibition hall, and the creation and success of seven America and the Sea Award Galas.

The Museum also welcomed to the board four new trustees in 2013:

Grant Cambridge, of Pasadena, CA, is a Senior Vice President and a Portfolio Manager of Capital Group in Los Angeles. In addition to an M.B.A. from Harvard, Cambridge has an M.A. from Suffolk University and a B.A. from Bentley University.

Sheila McCurdy, of Middletown, RI, has an extensive background in sailing and is well-known in the U.S. racing and cruising communities. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds a M.M.A from the University of Rhode Island.

Cayre Michas, of New York, NY, and Stonington, CT, has long been involved with non-profit and educational institutions and is a Trustee and Secretary for Learning Leaders, Inc. She received her A.B. from Brown University.

Waring Partridge of New Haven, CT, is a former senior executive in the telecommunications industry. He is presently the president of the Partridge Family Office. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from Catholic University (U.S.).