Congratulations to Peggy Sersland, Database Administrator, who has retired after 35 years with Vesterheim!
Peggy says, “I’ve been very lucky to work for a place I love. I’ve gotten to meet so many amazing, talented, wonderful people, and that has been my favorite part of the job.”
Peggy began her work at Vesterheim as a clerk in the Museum Store. As a rosemaler, who was often taking classes and shopping for folk art supplies, joining the staff was a natural fit. She progressed to assistant store manager and then manager of Vesterheim’s folk art supply shop.
In 2007, she switched to working with databases, but that doesn’t mean she gave up working with people. She took over Vesterheim’s membership program and has been able to connect with Vesterheim members all over the world ever since. She has helped people become members and enjoy their member benefits, while creating systems to keep their records secure and up to date. Thousands of Vesterheim members have benefited greatly from her support.
Over the years, Peggy has continued to be creative in her life and has added new artistic skills through adult education rosemaling classes and classes at Vesterheim Folk Art School. She’s learned many woodworking techniques, made a Norwegian knife, and started weaving. She plans to continue with her weaving and experiment with watercolor painting, as well.
Working at Vesterheim has been a family affair for Peggy. She has two sets of grandparents who had Norwegian ancestry, and she knows their influence encouraged her interest in Norwegian folk art. Her mom, Sandy Albertson, was a cook at the Dayton House restaurant when it was open at the museum, and she made many batches of lefse, rommegrøt, and Norwegian pastries. Peggy has two daughters who, she says, grew up at Vesterheim, the oldest just a baby when Peggy started her work here. The museum was their second home. She said she must thank them and her husband Keith for all the times they were pulled into volunteer at events. Her daughter Robin has artistic interests, and her daughter Shawn has continued the folk art expertise, earning a Vesterheim Gold Medal in woodworking and becoming a Vesterheim apprentice and Folk Art School instructor.
Peggy said she’s been blessed to watched Vesterheim grow over the years, and she’s always been impressed by the artists who have cared so deeply and helped build the organization into what it is today.
Peggy has seen many changes at Vesterheim, but her retirement will be a big change for members and staff.
Diane Wagner, Vesterheim Vice President of Donor Relations, said, “Peggy is an institution here at Vesterheim with over 35 years of dedicated service. She has contributed so much during her time at the museum. Through her work in the Museum Store and in the Development and Membership Office and through classes in the Folk Art School, Peggy is known and loved by Vesterheim friends, folk artists, members, and donors. She will be missed!”
Everyone at Vesterheim thanks Peggy for all of her work and wishes her well on her next adventures!