Shell Museum Welcomes Incoming, Outgoing Board Members

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Jane Henshaw and Sean Pierce with Scot Congress and Sam Ankerson

The new year brings some changes to the volunteer leadership at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, welcoming two new Board Members, while celebrating the service of two outgoing members.

The Board of Directors recently celebrated the successful tenures of Board Members Jane Henshaw and Sean Pierce, who ended their terms.

“We are grateful for the six years of dedicated service both Jane and Sean provided our Board of Trustees, and they will remain a valuable part of the Museum’s family,” said Scot Congress, National Shell Museum Board President. “We have made so much progress under their leadership, and the Museum will be forever grateful.”

Two familiar faces on the Islands, Clair Beckmann and Barbara Ellis, will join the Board in the New Year.

Clair Beckmann spent the bulk of her career as Regional President for JPMorgan Chase in Boulder, Colorado where her background was in Commercial Lending. She was the youngest and first female Bank President in the state of Colorado when she assumed the helm of the First National Bank of Louisville in the mid-80s. Upon retirement from banking, Clair was the Planned Giving Officer for Boulder Community Hospital as she transitioned to snowbird between Colorado and Sanibel Island over a period of seven years. Clair is active in the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club, and F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva. She returns to the Board of the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum after previously serving from 2008 to 2013, including a term as President.

Barbara Ellis was raised in Maryland and spent most of her career with Baltimore County Public Schools She served as principal and also assumed the directorship of 23 elementary schools, six middle schools, and four high schools. Following retirement from BCPS, Barbara was invited to join the Towson University faculty to teach graduate leadership courses and increase graduate school enrollment. During Barbara’s five years at TU, she also coordinated the School Administration Master’s Degree for school personnel in Shanghai, China. Since moving to Sanibel, Barb has served as a meal coordinator at F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva and has served on the Trust Board and Club Board of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary.

About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only museum in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 550,000 shells, as well as the Beyond Shells living gallery of aquariums and over 50 species of marine life. For more information on the Museum, visit or call (239) 395-2233.

Leave a Comment

We are interested in articulate, well-informed remarks that are relevant to the article. We welcome your advice, your criticism and your unique insights into the issues of the day. To be approved for publication, your comments should be civil and avoid name-calling. It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear, if it is approved.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.