Imagine starting a new job the day a pandemic forces the business to close its doors to visitors. That is exactly what Kim Toussaint experienced when she began her new position as Vesterheim’s Associate Director of Development and Campaign Manager in mid-March. By the second day on the job, she was working from home full-time and meeting her new co-workers on video calls rather than in person.
Despite the unusual start, Kim’s management skills and warm personality allowed her to hit the ground running. Kim, who claims Worthington, Minnesota, as her hometown, is a graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University with a degree in marketing and business administration. Before coming to Vesterheim, Kim worked as an administrative assistant at Merrill Lynch, a volunteer coordinator for RSVP, and as an assistant at an attorney’s office. When asked what drew her to Vesterheim, Kim shared, “I am delighted to be a part of a community of people connected by their desire to share the story of immigration from one place and how it is reflected in the story of immigration today.”
Outside of work, Kim enjoys baking, crocheting, and spending time with her family. She lives in Decorah with her husband and two daughters.
Molly Thompson joined the Vesterheim staff in July as the Annual Fund Gift Officer. Molly grew up in Elkader, Iowa, and holds bachelor’s degrees in history and theatre from the University of Northern Iowa, as well as a master’s degree in visual, material, and museum anthropology from Oxford.
Prior to joining Vesterheim’s staff, Molly gained nonprofit experience at Seed Savers Exchange and Terrace Hill, the Iowa Governor’s Residence and National Historic Landmark. At Vesterheim, Molly is particularly interested in the range of stories that are told. “From stories that surround the hands-on learning experiences offered by the Folk Art School, to the memories of places and people that are shared when I’m speaking with Vesterheim’s members, donors, and visitors, I feel lucky to work for an organization that values these stories so highly. They bring the mission of the museum to life.”
Molly lives in Decorah with her husband. In her free time, Molly likes to tend to her community garden plot, go running on the local trails, and FaceTime with her family and friends.