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MUSEUM DIRECTOR: Mike Bacigalupo Interim Head as Ron Bloomfield Departs

December 10, 2016       3 Comments
By: Dave Rogers

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Mike Bacigalupo

A well-known local arts & entertainment figure, Mike Bacigalupo, has taken over as interim director of the Bay County Historical Museum in the wake of the departure of longtime director Ron Bloomfield.

Bacigalupo, chief operating officer of the State Theatre, said in the Museum Record: "my plan will be pretty simple: to grow membership and create more awareness of the museum and to increase funding for much-needed specific museum projects. I look forward to making the museum a showplace of the Great Lakes Bay Region."

Bloomfield, who held the title of chief historian and director of operations at the museum, will manage the collection at the Museum of Cultural and Natural History at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant.

An article in the CMU Life, the student newspaper at CMU, states that Bloomfield, an alumnus of the university, "discovered the Museum of Cultural and Natural History at CMU. With a concentration in museum studies, he found a new passion.

"I knew from that day forward exactly what I wanted to do -- to work in museums," Bloomfield said.

"Bloomfield replaced Angela Riedel, who left the museum after eight years to work at Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame on Nov. 14. Bloomfield said he is getting reacquainted to the collections and accustomed to the technology.

"Bloomfield, a 1993 CMU alumnus, has worked in museums for 25 years."

While managing the collection, Bloomfield will pursue a Master's degree in History while commuting from the Bay City area. His wife, Corrine Bloomfield, reportedly will continue at the Bay County museum as chief curator.

The CMU Life article continued:

"Jay Martin, director, and curator at the CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History said he and Bloomfield formed a relationship years ago. They both shared an interest in Great Lakes maritime history preservation and research relative to Great Lakes shipwrecks.

"I am very pleased to have Bloomfield rejoin the CMU team and bring his experience back to mentor students here as part of our museum studies program," Martin said.

"The collections at the CMU museum include natural history, historical items, geology, and anthropology. Bloomfield is in charge of caring for the collections and trains students to work with the collections using database software.

"The Museum of Cultural and Natural history houses preserves historical and CMU items. Bloomfield said the opportunity at CMU outweighed that at Bay County, where some of the artifacts he worked with included a World War I ambulance and a piece from the USS Maine, which exploded in the Havana Harbor during the Spanish-American War in 1898. (Bay City seamen Howard Hawkins and Elmer Meilstrup were killed in the Maine explosion and William Mattison was blown overboard but survived.)

"Mike Bacigalupo was named interim director at Bay County Historical Society. Bacigalupo said he worked with Bloomfield on multiple projects for eight years in Bay County and called him "the most organized person he has ever met."

"He is very down-to-earth, and is a smart and brilliant person, especially when it comes to the historical aspect of anything he talks about," Bacigalupo said.

"Bacigalupo said Bloomfield asked him to take over his position and said he was honored to accept the position."

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"The BUZZ" - Read Feedback From Readers!

sunbeamf Says:       On December 13, 2016 at 11:54 AM
Interim??? Is he remaining in the at will position with the city and COO of the State Theater also? Perhaps he could take over on an "interim" basis for the city manager? The Historical Museum board needs to get going on their listing to hire a "qualified" director--remember that Ron had a degree in history and Museums. What next for Mr. Bacigalupo??
support Says:       On December 13, 2016 at 05:47 PM
As President of the (all volunteer) board of the Bay County Historical Society, I can say that it's always good to hear from the public. Feedback is essential for us to do our job.

Concerning Mike Bacigalupo, he is in fact the INTERIM director. Mike was recommended to the board's personnel committee by Ron Bloomfield when they received Ron's resignation. Personnel discussed Bacigalupo, took his resume and application for further discussion, then interviewed him in person. They agreed that he was a match for the (part time) interim position and they presented the recommendation to the full board, many of whom personally know Bacigalupo.

The position of director is not intended to also be the curator or historian. The director's job includes keeping the building operating (not a small task), managing the personnel, interacting with the public and the county, and growing membership. Perhaps most important, the director must be a fund raiser.

Bloomfield, then chief historian and curator, filled in as interim director some years ago. Later he accepted a co-director position with another individual. Eventually he was elevated by the board to be the director, curator, and chief historian.

Bloomfield did a fine job in this larger position, but we all recognized that it also kept him from dedicating the time he would prefer to his first love of historian. The opportunity presented at CMU has all the earmarks of a job that will let Ron stretch his wings. We wish him the best.

Over the next few months the board will work with Bacigalupo and the staff to reevaluate the director position. The direction forward will be informed by that process.

Stephen Kent
Board President
Bay County Historical Society
sunbeamf Says:       On December 19, 2016 at 06:36 AM
Thanks, Steve, for the prompt reply. My concern is that Mr. Bacigalupo is spreading himself too thin and will not have the time nor the energy to give to the job.
Agree? or Disagree?

Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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