The new executive director of the Queens Historical Society is a third-generation borough native with a background in finance, religion and real estate.
D. Alexandra Dyer began her new duties last month at QHS headquarters in the Kingsland Homestead at 143-35 37 Ave. in Flushing. Aside from raising money for the nonprofit group, she hopes to expand programs outside the facility and to raise the organization’s profile.
The new director replaces Ellissa Fazio, who returned to her career in the city school system as a teacher of the deaf.
“I’m so excited to be here,” Dyer said. “I have a love of history and will be an advocate for the society.”
She believes it’s important to “reflect on our history” because, “we lose sight of the past to our peril.”
As part of raising the society’s profile, Dyer plans to look for satellite locations in Queens for QHS exhibits and to word them in different languages.
Future exhibits include one on outstanding women of Queens in June and another on immigrant voices in September.
She is already actively involved in fundraising and wants to raise additional money from the public and private sectors. The QHS annual budget is $130,000.
Dyer credits the society’s dedicated volunteers for generously giving their time to work there and seeks more interns to learn about history and the society.
She favors landmarking “on a case-by-case basis,” adding, “We want to be a vocal presence” since Queens offers “an extraordinary opportunity.”
She would like the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to stop delaying its decisions and clear up its backlog of sites being considered for protection. “They should look at them, expedite them and don’t disregard what research has already been done,” Dyer said.
A native of Queensboro Hill in Flushing, Dyer is a graduate of St. Ann’s Elementary School and The Mary Louis Academy and earned her BA from Barnard College. She received her master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary and her MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
She is a licensed real estate broker, lives in St. Albans and within the group Roman Catholic Womenpriests is an ordained priest.
Dyer has worked for numerous businesses including the Greyston Foundation, South Bronx 2000 LDC and Discover General Contracting Corp., among others.