Hospitality/Tourism: CHRISTY S. COLEMAN
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JAMESTOWN-YORKTOWN FOUNDATION, WILLIAMSBURG
In late 2019, Coleman became the first woman and the first person of color to serve as executive director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the state agency that operates Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
Although the pandemic briefly shut down both living-history museums, Coleman has since made telling more inclusive stories from the 17th and 18th centuries a priority. Speakers lined up for the foundation’s 2022 director’s series include a scholar of African American history, a member of the Ojibwe Nation and the sixth great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Visitors to the July Fourth celebration at the American Revolution Museum could watch demonstrations of musket firing, but also had the opportunity to see an interpreter portray John Rollison, a free Black man from York County.
Coleman previously served as CEO of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond. She was also president and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Michigan. A native of Williamsburg, Coleman earned her undergraduate degree and a master’s in museum studies from Hampton University.