Autumn J. Watkins Holloway, Executive Director of the Lee County Black History Society.The Lee County Black History Society (LCBHS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Autumn J. Watkins Holloway, M.Ed. as its new Executive Director. With nearly 20 years of experience as a professional nonprofit administrative leader and compassionate educator, Holloway brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to preserving and promoting Black history and culture in Lee County.

“As a Fort Myers native and fourth-generation Dunbar resident, I am truly honored to join the Lee County Black History Society as the Executive Director,” said Holloway. “I look forward to working closely with the board, staff and the community to further our mission and ensure that the stories of resilience, achievement and cultural heritage of the Black community in Lee County are celebrated and cherished.”

As the newly appointed Executive Director, Holloway will lead the LCBHS in its mission to educate, celebrate and honor the rich contributions of both locally and nationally known African Americans throughout Lee County’s history. Her strategic vision, strong leadership skills and passion for community engagement make her the ideal candidate to guide the organization into a new era of growth and impact.

The LCBHS was established in 1990 by attorney and educator Janice Cass and has operated over the past 33 years solely with the aid of a dedicated Board of Directors, community members, volunteers and supporters. Holloway makes history as the first full-time staff member to be hired by the LCBHS.

The LCBHS, which maintains the Black History Museum in the former Williams Academy, is working with the City of Fort Myers to plan a $22-million, three-story, state-of-the-art African American Cultural Center in Clemente Park, envisioned to be home to cultural exhibits, concerts, educational workshops, community empowerment programs, health and wellness initiatives, film screenings, and even recording studios that will help spur development in the Dunbar area.

Under Holloway’s leadership, the LCBHS will continue its commitment to preserving historical artifacts, organizing educational programs and engaging with the local community. With a renewed focus on inclusivity, collaboration and expanding outreach efforts, the LCBHS aims to deepen its impact and foster a greater understanding of African American history and its significance.

“We are delighted to have Autumn join us as the Executive Director of the Lee County Black History Society,” said Charles Barnes, chairman of the LCBHS Board of Directors. “Her expertise, leadership, and dedication will undoubtedly propel our organization forward and strengthen our mission to promote cultural heritage and empower our community.”

Holloway assumes her role on June 15.