By DAVID L. SHAW
SENECA FALLS — The first CEO of the National Women’s Hall of Fame has resigned, but the project she was charged with overseeing is continuing to make progress and gain financial support.
In the same press release, the Hall’s Board of Directors last week announced that Jill Tietjen has resigned as chief executive officer and the Hall of Fame is being awarded $750,000 in state grants for converting the former Seneca Knitting Mill into the Center for Great Women.
Board President Jeanne Giovannini of Seneca Falls said Tietjen plans to return to her full-time business and career in Colorado.
“The board is grateful to Jill for her vision, dedication and accomplishments in contributing to the Hall’s progress to date and looks forward to her continued support,’’ Giovannini said.
She said the board and volunteers will guide the Hall.
Tietjen said in an e-mail that her employment as CEO was terminated by mutual agreement on Nov. 4.
“I am very proud of what the Hall has been able to accomplish in 2015 and look forward to seeing it move into the Center for Great Women in late 2016,’’ she added.
Tietjen was named the Hall’s first CEO in January 2015. She had been board president at the time and a board member since 2009.
An electrical engineer by profession, she co-authored the best-selling and award-winning book “Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America.’’ She also blogs for The Huffington Post, speaks nationally on the contribution of women and serves on the boards of Georgia Transmission Corp. and Colorado-based Merrick & Co.
The state grants awarded to the Hall in December include:
• $500,000 from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation’s Heritage Areas System Program.
The program awards grants to projects that will acquire, preserve, rehabilitate or restore land, water or structures identified in designated Heritage Areas.
The money will go toward the continued adoptive rehabilitation and reuse of the historic knitting mill on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal into 4,200 square feet of habitable space.
• $250,000 from the Empire State Development’s MarketNY Program. That grant is awarded to projects that would strengthen and encourage tourism growth in the region.
The money will be used to help pay for selective demolition, construction, interior build-out and site work on the first floor of the knitting mill.
“We are extremely grateful for this important support and recognition by the state that the Hall is not only rehabilitating the historic Seneca Knitting Mill, but the Center for Great Women will have economic impact by creating jobs and attracting tourists on a state, national and international scale,’’ said Giovannini.
She praised the efforts of town, county and the Hall board and staff in collaborating on the funding application.
“These are financial resources that are not easily obtained. It is truly a commendable achievement on behalf of the Hall, the county and the region,’’ Giovannini said.
The Hall, established here in 1969, is now located at 76 Fall St. It has outgrown that space with the induction of 266 American women.
The Hall is in the final stage of state approval to proceed with the next steps of capital improvements to the historic knitting mill building, including winterization and window replacement. Plans are to move the Center for Great Women into the first floor of the old mill by the end of the year.
To learn more about the National Women’s Hall of Fame, people can visit www.womenofthehall.org.