Trevor Jones, head of History Nebraska for the past six years, to resign July 1

By: - May 18, 2022 2:50 pm

LINCOLN — Trevor Jones, the executive director/CEO of History Nebraska, submitted his resignation Wednesday, effective July 1.

Jones, who had served in the post for the past six years, was unclear about his future plans in a message to the staff at the state historical society.

He said he had talked with his wife about what was “truly important” and had decided to “leave my position while still doing my best work.”

A change agent

“I don’t know what will come next, but I look forward to finding out,” he wrote. “It has been my honor to serve the organization charged with preserving and interpreting Nebraska’s history. …  I have enjoyed the work immensely.”

Omaha attorney David Levy, the chairman of the History Nebraska Board of Trustees, thanked Jones for his service.

“We wish him well as he plans to spend time with his family traveling and exploring,” Levy said in a press release. “The board will be meeting as soon as possible to determine next steps and timeline for finding Trevor’s replacement.”

Jones, who managed the Historical Resources division of the Kentucky Historical Society before being hired in Nebraska, had been a change agent here. He pushed hard for digitization of the agency’s historical archives and even won approval to change the name of the organization from the Nebraska State Historical Society to History Nebraska.

Some of his changes upset some staffers and longtime supporters. Jones created a new History Nebraska Foundation after clashing with the State Historical Society Foundation. His management style, which required employees to frequently chart their activities, also rubbed some longtime workers the wrong way.

Proud of accomplishments

In his note, Jones said that he was proud of what History Nebraska has accomplished.

“We’ve digitized millions of records and seen use of our collections increase exponentially. We have launched innovative new programs, increased our budget, staff size, attendance, and earned income dramatically,” Jones wrote.

History Nebraska is a stronger, more engaging, and more relevant organization than ever before,” he added.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and later, editing the Papillion Times group in suburban Omaha. He joined the Lincoln Journal-Star as a sports enterprise reporter, and then a roving reporter covering southeast Nebraska. In 1990, he was hired by the Omaha World-Herald as a legislative reporter. Later, for 15 years, he roamed the state covering all kinds of news and feature stories. In the past decade, he served as chief of the Lincoln Bureau and enterprise reporter. Paul has won awards for reporting from Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press, Nebraska Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.