San Francisco, October 8, 2012 – The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) announced today that Michael McKechnie is its new Executive Director to succeed Eddie Wong, who retired in June, 2012. Mr. McKechnie will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Foundation and will report to the AIISF board of directors.
Prior to joining the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Mr. McKechnie served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society for 11 years. “We are very pleased that we found such an outstanding and qualified leader to help take the organization to the next level,” said Buck Gee, AIISF Board President. “We felt that his experience in building a highly visible public/private partnership, his skills in managing a larger organization, and his success in achieving multi-million dollar fundraising goals would be critical in growing the Foundation.”Before working at San Francisco’s Botanical Garden Society, Mr. McKechnie had a long career developing programs that involve professionals and the public working together. Trained as a city planner with an interest in historic preservation and with an undergraduate degree in history, Mr. McKechnie has had considerable experience working with architects, engineers, educators, and designers to remake and interpret public places of historical significance.
“The story of Angel Island and its significance to the complete picture of American immigration needs to be known in communities across the country,” said Mr. McKechnie. “I will be meeting with current supporters, as well as new community leaders to help us build programs to define the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island as the national symbol of Pacific immigration.
Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization whose mission is to promote a greater understanding of Pacific Coast immigration and its iconic role in shaping America’s past, present and future. AIISF raises funds to restore, preserve and interpret the U.S. Immigration Station at Angel Island, a National Historic Landmark, as the national symbol of Pacific immigration. In partnership with the California State Parks, AIISF educates the public about the complex story and rich cultural heritage of Pacific Coast immigrants and their descendants.
AIISF seeks to make history relevant to the current day through programs that present contemporary immigration issues in the context of the Angel Island and other periods of American history. For example, the Chinese Exclusion Acts that were in effect from 1882 to 1943 and other legislation in the early part of the 20th century disproportionately affected Asians and Southern Europeans, restricting their immigration to America. AIISF programs have presented current immigration issues, including documentation and deportation, in this context, discussing similarities and differences between past and present.
For more information on AIISF, visit www.aiisf.org.