Leaving the Folly in a Better Place
Kernersville News, December 8, 2022
After 11 years leading Körner’s Folly, Executive Director Dale Pennington has announced her resignation.
She writes, “It is with heartfelt appreciation that I share the news that I will be leaving the Folly in early 2023. My time at the Folly has been so very special. This amazing house has a way of inhabiting your heart, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to be part of this amazing organization. My life has changed significantly during my time here, just as this organization has also changed and grown, and now, I’m at a point in my life, where I need to be able to devote more time to my young family. I plan to leave the Foundation in early 2023, assisting with the new executive search, and ensuring a smooth transition.”
During her tenure, Pennington has overseen all the major restorative work at Körner’s Folly, starting with the home’s foundation, porches, and roof from 2012-2015, and then managing the interior restoration program. She has lead the organization through 16 interior room restoration projects, of Korner’s Folly’s 22 rooms.
In addition to leading the historic preservation program at Korner’s Folly, Pennington also been responsible for all aspects of the operation of the historic house museum and administration of the nonprofit Foundation. Combining a commitment to sustainability and education, together with intentional planning, strategic marketing, and measurable objectives, she has been a wonderful asset to the organization and the Kernersville Community. Over the last 11 years, Korner’s Folly’s annual operating budget has increased by 50%, they launched two successful Capital Campaigns, staffing and volunteerism has more than doubled, annual visitation has grown by 75%, and the breadth, depth, and relevance of the historical site has significantly widened access.
The educational programming has also been particularly meaningful to Pennington. During her time, she has created memorable programs such as, Christmas by Candlelight, Körner’s Folly’s Girl Scout Program, Family Fun Day, and the Victorian Parlor Series. She has always been willing to roll up her sleeves and help out, and has often been found performing the puppet show right alongside the Folly’s amazing volunteers, pouring beer at the Annual Kernersville Oktoberfest, and leading guided tours to elementary students.
Of her success, Pennington says, “As Executive Director, it has been my privilege to work with some to the most dedicated individuals in the Piedmont Triad community. It has been wonderful to get to know each of the staff, volunteers, and donors, and I feel so fortunate to have worked by their side. I have been supported by a Board of Directors that offered leadership, guidance, and assistance in restoring this wonderful historic house museum. I am so excited to see what’s in store for the future of the Folly. There are so many good things on the horizon that will propel this organization forward for the next 140+ years.” The Board of Directors looks forward to announcing construction for the Visitors Center at Korner’s Folly to begin in early 2023.
“While transition is a natural stage in an organization, we have appreciated and will miss Dale’s vision and leadership. She has been a strong leader at Korner’s Folly for more than a decade and a well-respected force throughout the community.” said Norma Pearman, Board President of the Korner’s Folly Foundation.
When you walk into Pennington’s office, she keeps a quote above her desk that reads, “When you [work] on a big estate, the first obligation is to preserve it. The second is to improve it. The third is to leave it in better shape than you found it.” —William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil. We can all agree that Pennington is certainly leaving the Folly in better shape than she found it.