Conversations about turning the derelict Old Naval Hospital into a new DC Public Library location…
Hill Center, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization operated by the Old Naval Hospital Foundation, has an incredible Board of Directors. They work diligently to make sure that Hill Center thrives while preserving the Old Naval Hospital’s historic fabric, keeping the Center vital, relevant and financially self-sustaining for generations to come.
Over the next few months, we’ll be highlighting some of the members of our Board, so you can get to know them a little better.
We’ll begin with Cathie Wotecki, who just re-upped for a second three year term on the Board. She has served on the Program Committee, but now is chairing the Development Committee.
What is your day job?
I’m a scientist! After leaving a 6-year term as Chief Scientist and Under Secretary at USDA during the Obama Administration, I’ve returned to the faculty at Iowa State University where I was Dean of Agriculture. I’m still living most of the time on the Hill and spend a few weeks each semester in residence on campus. I also am a Visiting Scholar with Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute and President of a small foundation that’s called the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation.
Why did you get involved with Hill Center?
We initially were involved as donors. My husband and I had attended ANC meetings in the building and talked about what a marvelous structure it was (great bones and location!) and how sad it was that the building was in such deplorable condition [before restoration]. When we were approached with the vision of creating Hill Center, we embraced it!
What excites you the most about Hill Center?
It’s so alive! The diversity of people and programs that draw them to Hill Center.
What is your favorite program or event that Hill Center offers?
Cooking – after all we contributed to the kitchen!
What is your favorite memory or story involving Hill Center?
I think it’s the fence — the wonderful story of how it was rescued and rebuilt with support from so many people and a unique forge that restores historic ironwork.
What’s the one thing you think people should know about Hill Center?
It’s warm and welcoming — don’t hesitate to come by!