Manatee County Historical Commission Inc
1404 Manatee Ave E
Bradenton FL 34208
Our mission is to preserve & share the heritage of Manatee County's founding period.
CEO/Executive Director Phaedra Carter
Board Chair Ed Faraone
Board Chair Affiliation Green World Solutions Group, LLC
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1979
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2018
State Registration 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
MCHC IRS Determination LetterView
Impact Statement

  During the last year the Manatee County Historical Commission has:

  1. Completed restoration of all windows in the 1912 Will & Roxie Stephens home.
  2. Completed a board approved Emergency Preparedness Plan and prioritize a list of emergency preparedness needs and supplies.
  3. Served 250 students through the production of Manatee History Day, and supported 14 students who proceeded to the next level of competition at Florida History Day.
  4. Served over 1,500 members of the community through no cost educational presentations and programming.
  5. Raised funding to complete the second phase of improvements to walkways throughout Manatee Village Historical Park which will ensure better accessibility for all visitors.

Goals for 2017 - 2018:

1. Complete replacement of walkways within Manatee Village, enabling better accessibility to exhibits for the mobility impaired. 
2. Build a suitable cover for Old Cabbagehead, the steam locomotive, in preparation for restoration.
3. Add more opportunities for designated “hands on history” spots throughout Manatee Village to increase family engagement.
4. Increase number of community members served through educational programming and presentations at Manatee Village Historical Park to 2,500 or greater.
5. Devise and implement a fundraising plan for the restoration of the 1886 William H. Vanderipe House.
Needs Statement

  1. $22,000 to continue improvement of pedestrian walkways throughout Manatee Village Historical Park and adding ramps to increase accessibility to structures and exhibits;
  2. Sponsorships of $25 - $1,000 for Manatee County History Fair and/or Community Educational Programming;
  3. Volunteers to help conduct school programs for elementary school aged children, help facilitate Manatee County History Fair, conduct group tours of Manatee Village Historical Park, or work in the Whistle Stop Gift Shop;
  4. Knowledgeable, active volunteers to serve on the Manatee County Historical Commission and/or its standing committees and task forces;
  5. $50,000 to build a suitable cover for Old Cabbagehead, the 1913 Baldwin steam locomotive, and to conduct restoration activities to preserve this historic structure.


Background Statement
In 1974, a group of women left a business meeting of Manatee United Methodist Church, and lamented how they could save their historic sanctuary, which had been built in 1887.  The structure, along with a smaller building owned by the congregation, once Manatee County’s first courthouse, were to be torn down to make room for a new sanctuary and parking lot to accomodate a growing congregation. That night, they vowed to do all that they could to save the two structures.
The initial group, who rallied to save the two buildings, became known as the H.O.M.E. (Heritage of Manatee’s Environment) Committee.  Realizing that Manatee County had once had a Historical Commission which was no longer operating, they convinced the Board of County Commissioners to reestablish the Manatee County Historical Commission by ordinance making the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court a perpetual member.  The remaining sixteen members would be appointed by the Board of County Commission each year.  They also organized the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. with its purpose to protect and preserve Manatee County’s history and to educate the county’s residents and visitors about that history.  As both a government ordained and a non-profit organization, the Manatee County Historical Commission stood ready to take on the task of saving the 1887 church and the 1860 courthouse. 
Both buildings were moved to the Park in December of 1974.  The effort became part of Manatee County’s celebration of the United States bicentennial and some funding for the bicentennial effort became seed money for the establishment of the Manatee Village Historical Park.  Most of the funding, however, came from private donors raised by Historical Commission members asking their friends, community leaders, and businesses for support.  The Park officially opened to the public on July 4, 1976. The effort continues today through encouraging historical preservation as Manatee County continues to grow and develop, as well as through raising support for the maintenance of the collection of buildings at Manatee Village Historical Park. For over thirty-five years, donations, grants, expertise and volunteers supplied by the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. and funding made available through the Clerk of Circuit Court by the Board of County Commission has allowed residents as well as visitors from far & wide to experience Manatee County’s pioneer heritage in its various buildings and programming. 
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
FL- Hillsborough
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
FL- Lee
Areas Served Comments Manatee Village Historical Park hosts visitors from all fifty states, as well as many international visitors each year. The majority of our visitors and program recipients are from Manatee, Sarasota, and Pinellas Counties, whether seasonal residents from the northern states, or year-round members of our community. Students from many surrounding counties participate in field trip programming at this location as well.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

A unique public-private partnership exists to preserve and share the heritage of Manatee County's founding period. Manatee Village Historical Park operates thanks to this unique partnership between the Historical Resources Division of the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller, and the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc., a 501c(3) nonprofit community benefit organization.

The funding received through the Manatee County Clerk’s Office provides a modest operating budget for administrative support, regular maintenance, and educational programming, exhibits, and events that are produced for the public benefit. But that is not all that is needed to fund what we do here at Manatee Village Historical Park!

The Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. conducts fundraising to help further their mission "To preserve and share the heritage of Manatee County's founding period.” The Manatee County Historical Commission achieves this through advocacy, preservation, and education. Initiatives supported by the Historical Commission include restoration efforts at Manatee Village Historical Park, care and maintenance of objects in the Park’s collection, and educational programming, exhibits, and events.

Manatee Village Historical Park does not charge for admission. As a function of Manatee County Government, it exists as a community benefit, as well as a way for visitors to learn more about the rich cultural history of our area. However, donations are greatly appreciated, and are contributions toward furthering the mission of Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc.

We believe that knowing where we come from helps us to understand who we are. 

-- Together, we can “Save real places and tell real stories.”

Description Manatee Village includes twelve structures and points of interest which were originally constructed during Manatee County’s settlement period, between 1860 and 1920. Each of these serves as a sort of time machine - an educational tool and monument to those who established our community, as well as a place to create dialog that reaches across generations and bridges cultural differences. Yet, beyond these, there are many and varied benefits that come from historical preservation projects like ours. They keep our community beautiful, vibrant, and livable. Historic preservation supports community building by making our surroundings richer for having the tangible presence of past eras and historic styles.
Budget $15,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Historic Preservation & Conservation
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success The Manatee County Historical Commission has been able to complete restoration of the 1887 Old Meeting House Church steeple from damage caused by termite infestation. The project called for a “from the ground up” approach, which was completed in phases as funding for each phase was achieved. Through the generosity of many members of our community, we have been able to work toward ensuring that this special structure, which has borne witness to the events of the last 127 years, will continue to be a landmark and part of our community for generations to come.
Long Term Success Each structure which has been saved from the wrecking ball, moved to, and restored at Manatee Village Historical Park is a testament to the long term success of the historical preservation program of the Manatee County Historical Commission. This historic site demonstrates how public awareness, civic incentive, as well as private support for the preservation of our local historic landscapes, architecture, and sites of local historic significance can play a role in developing a vibrant and livable community with economic benefits that extend beyond the borders of Manatee Village Historical Park, through revitalization, tourism and revenue generation.Historic preservation also demonstrates an environmentally friendly way to revitalize business districts and residential neighborhoods. And finally, preserved structures teach local heritage, increase understanding of the past and encourage cultural respect and civic responsibility.
Program Success Monitoring To determine the success of historical preservation efforts at Manatee Village, we monitor several factors. Initially, we monitor visitation numbers and commentary from the visitor perspective. We also monitor the ongoing physical condition of the preserved structures as maintenance and upkeep demonstrate effective stewardship of program funding. And finally, we monitor trends in donor support, which are a good indication of how our visitors are impacted by their own experience with the structures and their appreciation for care that has been exhibited in the maintenance of them.
Program Success Examples In 2016, more than 11,000 visitors of all ages and backgrounds were immersed into Manatee County’s pioneer past through their “time travel” amongst the buildings and structures at Manatee Village Historical Park. Each restoration project completed is a testament to the success of the program. Our most recent success is that of restoring the windows in the 1912 Will & Roxie Stephens Home, a prime example of Florida's unique Cracker-Gothic architecture.
Description The Manatee History Dat, now in its 32nd year, is a year-long education program affiliated with the rigorous and nationally recognized National History Day program that began in 1974. This program engages students in grades 6-12 in the discovery and interpretation of historical research. Students choose an historical topic related to an annual theme and conduct extensive research using libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews, and websites. After analyzing and interpreting their primary and secondary sources and drawing conclusions about their topic’s significance in history, students work creatively and collaboratively to present their work in an original paper, exhibit, website, performance, or documentary. These presentations are held at the classroom, county, state, and national levels.
Budget $10,800
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success Manatee History Day (MHD) is a district competition of the National History Day (NHD) program and is aimed at promoting civics and history education. Last year, local sponsors, helped strengthen education in our community and reward students for their hard work and dedication through support of programs costs, awards, and scholarships to help families cover travel expenses at the state and national levels of competition. Thanks to last year’s MHD supporters, we were able to take a team of 14 students to Florida History Fair. In most prior years, MHD has also supported the attendance of  Manatee County students selected to represent our region at the National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland.
Long Term Success

In addition to facilitating the discovery of the past, Manatee History Day, as an affiliate of National History Day, also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills,
  • Research and reading skills,
  • Oral and written communication and presentation skills,
  • Self-esteem and confidence, and
  • A sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.
Program Success Monitoring Each year program success is monitored not only by the number of students participating at Manatee History Day, but also by the number of Manatee County teachers who use the program in their classroom. Success is also measured by the number of students who arrive at Manatee History Day with projects that will be competitive at the state level, and by how many projects from Manatee County are selected to represent the State of Florida at the National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland.
Program Success Examples Many past participants of Manatee History Day (formerly known as Manatee County History Fair) have recounted how the skills they learned through participation in the program, such as how to research, take notes, organize their findings, and write a bibliography have given them an advantage during their first semester at college. We have often heard how they have excelled over class mates having had extensive experience with these concepts. Many past participants also relate how the interview and oral communications skills they practiced, as well as the self-esteem and confidence they developed as part of the program were invaluable as they began to search for employment.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Phaedra Carter
CEO Term Start Jan 2011
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Bridget Donahue-Farrell Curator
Patrick Files Maintenance Technician
Carolyn Nielsen Visitor Services Coordinator
Melissa Porter Education & Volunteer Coordinator
Kathryn Rohlwing Special Events & Marketing Coordinator
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 5
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 150
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A

The Manatee County Historical Commission collaborates with the Manatee County Clerk of Ciruit Court & Comptroller for administrative functions. The Historical Commission is considered a government appointed advisory board. New board memebrs nominated by a vote of the current board, then are appointed by the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners. This process is established by County Ordinance. The Ordinance provides that the Manatee County Clerk of Court will serve on this board as an ex-officio member, and as such has the ability to provide staff to tend to the business of the Manatee County Historical Commission. The Manatee County Historical Commission is a partner in maintaining Manatee Village Historical Park along with the Manatee County Clerk of Court’s Department of Historical Resources, due to this arrangement. The Clerk of Court’s office also provides an operating budget which covers utilities, office supplies, telecommunications systems, minor maintenance, some volunteer education and recognition needs, some school programming, and the salaries of Manatee Village Historical Park staff. Staff facilitates the meetings & business of the Historical Commission, & maintain its records and finances. 

American Association of Museums - Member
American Association of State and Local History
Florida Association of Museums
External Assessments and Accreditations
National Register of Historic Places - Listed Property1976
Awards & Recognition
Florida Preservation Award - Meritorious Achievement in Rehabilitaition of Non-Residential StrucutreFlorida Trust for Historic Preservation1991
Risk Management Provisions
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 15
Strategic Plan Adopted May 2011
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization We have a unique situation, as our staff is not provided by the non-profit, but rather by the Clerk of Court (the employer). This explains why the Staff Evaluations are "N/A."
Other Documents
Other Document 2
MCHC Whistleblower Policy
Board Chair
Board Chair Ed Faraone
Company Affiliation Green World Solutions Group, LLC
Board Term Jan 2018 to Dec 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Anne Castellina USF Cullinary Innovation Lab
Angelina "Angel" M. Colonneso Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller
Jeffrey Downing Mosaic
Ed Faraone Global Federation for Sustainable Development
Catherine Ferrer Realize Bradenton
Bridgette Halliburton Community Volunteer
G.W. "Bill" Howard Retired
Norma Kennedy Parrish Civic Association
Andrea Knies New College of Florida
John Stephens North Manatee Realty
Mimi Tran Community Volunteer
Matthew Woodside South Florida Museum
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 5
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board Meeting Attendance % 63
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 53
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Board Governance
Fiscal Affairs
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Oct
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2016
Tax Year End Month Sept
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $42,375.00
Projected Expenses $36,800.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $105,318.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign Yes
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose The goal of this project is to improve walkways and increase accessibility to historic structures throughout Manatee Village. The cost of the entire project - including Phases I, II, and III - is estimated at $36,000.
Campaign Goal $36,000.00
Amount Raised To Date 34100 as of July 2017
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$15,989$44,262$90,755
Administration Expense$5,430$16,547$19,707
Fundraising Expense$6,390$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.381.290.74
Program Expense/Total Expenses57%73%82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue27%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$223,585$656,435$643,690
Current Assets$223,585$221,035$201,403
Long-Term Liabilities$0$82,666$87,641
Current Liabilities$0$1,614$1,456
Total Net Assets$223,585$572,155$554,583
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $41,036Contributions, gifts, grants $50,137Contributions, gifts, grants $48,942
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $13,133Educational Events $14,315Fundraising $19,472
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $10,966Facility Rental $7,828Facility Rental $6,998
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities--136.95138.33
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%13%14%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990.  Financial figures were taken solely from the IRS Form 990s.  Financial information for 2017 taken solely from unaudited compilations as the Federal tax return was not available at time of review.
Nonprofit Manatee County Historical Commission Inc
Address 1404 Manatee Ave E
Bradenton, FL 34208
Phone 941 741-4075