NCCIL announces new Executive Director

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ABILENE, TEXAS, Feb. 28, 2018 – The board of directors for the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) announced today that Trish Dressen was hired to lead the museum as its executive director effective March 1.

The NCCIL’s current executive director, Debbie Lillick, submitted her resignation earlier this month. She is finishing her 10th year in that position and has been instrumental in developing relationships with new artists and commissioning new exhibitions from award-winning children’s book illustrators.  Lillick said she looks forward to continued involvement with the museum and will be working closely with Dressen for a seamless transition.

“We love Trish,” Lillick said. “She is enthusiastic about continuing all of the great work that has been achieved over the last 20 years at the NCCIL. It’s going to be great.”

Lee Hamilton, chairman of the NCCIL Executive Director Search Committee, said the group was impressed with Dressen’s intellect, marketing experience, communication skills, organizational skills and her ability to think on her feet.

“Trish displays an enthusiasm for children’s literature and understands the structure of a nonprofit organization,” Hamilton said. “She is fascinated by the unique position the NCCIL occupies in the world of children’s literature. She understands the importance of being ‘known’ and respected by children’s book illustrators and authors.”

Dressen earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Texas Tech University and a double minor in marketing and English. She spent six years as director of communications at the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau, winning numerous awards for her marketing campaigns.

“During my time at ACVB, I had the opportunity to work with local, state and national media to promote Abilene as a wonderful community for families and children,” Dressen said. “The NCCIL was a major player in our marketing efforts, and I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to work to promote the NCCIL in this new position.”

Dressen is looking forward to working closely with Lillick, Sujata Shahane, Rodney Goodman and other NCCIL staff and docents in her new role and continuing the wonderful relationships the museum has with the illustrators who have been so critical to its success.