Vice President, Media & Communications
MOUNT VERNON, VIRGINIA -- On October 19, 2021, Margaret Hartman Nichols of York Harbor, Maine was elected to serve as the 23rd Regent, or chairwoman, of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA), which owns and operates George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Nichols is the second Regent to hail from the state of Maine. Mrs. James Gore King Richards of Newcastle, the Association’s fifth Regent, assumed the reins in 1927.
“I am truly honored to accept the position of Regent and am humbled to follow in the footsteps of the intrepid women who served before me. The MVLA is well known for its leadership, stewardship, and, just as importantly, its tenacity—strengths that allow it to meet challenges with purpose while informing and inspiring future generations through its mission to preserve and protect Mount Vernon and to educate the world about George Washington’s legacy.”
Before joining the Board in 2012, Nichols -- a classically trained musician -- led a successful career in banking, specializing in industrial manufacturing and the emerging cable communications industry. Her board service over the past 30 years in the state of Maine is extensive. Nichols has been a longtime supporter and advisor to the York County Community College, serving as a past Foundation Chair and board member. She has been recognized for her contributions in education and preservation throughout the state and New England. Nichols currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the New England Conservatory in Boston.
Founded in 1853, the MVLA is America's first national historic preservation organization. After purchasing the iconic estate from the Washington family, the MVLA opened Mount Vernon to the public in 1860. The estate has welcomed presidents, royalty, world leaders, and celebrities, along with thousands of soldiers, veterans, families, and schoolchildren from around the globe. With more than one million annual guests, Mount Vernon is the most visited historic home in America.
In addition to the historic estate and related curatorial and archeological endeavors, the MVLA also operates the George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon. Opened in 2013, the Washington Library houses a trove of original documents and manuscripts, and has quickly become the leading center for Washington and MVLA scholarship. The Library also hosts the George Washington Leadership Institute -- a leadership training and professional development program for military groups, businesses, and nonprofits highlighting the life and leadership of George Washington.