Three Holocaust Museum Houston Directors Named to Local, National Professional Posts

HOUSTON, TX (Feb. 6, 2006) - Three staff directors of Holocaust Museum Houston have been named to leadership positions in their respective professional and Holocaust-related organizations.

Christina Vasquez, director of education at the 10-year-old Houston museum, has been appointed to the Education Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. As such, she will assist in advising the Education Division of the USHMM on its national outreach initiatives and how to work with other institutions related to the teaching of the Holocaust and issues of genocide.

Since opening in 1993, the Washington museum has welcomed more than 22.8 million visitors from all walks of life and reached millions more through a growing range of outreach programs involving students, teachers, law enforcement officers, students at military academies and others.

At the Houston museum, Vasquez oversees educational outreach efforts, including the Museum's curriculum trunk program, the academic committee, Youth in the Law (a program for at-risk teenagers), the Warren Fellowship for Pre-Service Teachers, the Kaplan Summer Institute for Teachers, adult literacy training and the Museum's Latin American Initiative. She presents at conferences and professional development sessions throughout the United States on how to teach about the Holocaust and related issues. She also speaks to various civic organizations on behalf of the Museum.

She studied the Holocaust in Poland and Israel through the Jewish Labor Committee's Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Summer Fellowship for teachers in 1998. In 1999, she received a fellowship with the National Endowment for the Humanities to study cultural responses to the Holocaust in America and abroad at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. She was named a Mandel Fellow with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2000 and continued Holocaust studies through the Alfred Lerner fellowship with the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous in New York City in 2001.

Vasquez was awarded a fellowship through Rotary International in 2005 to travel to Chile, where she worked with Fundacion Museo Shoa y Tolerancia and Fundacion IDEAS in Santiago to promote Holocaust and tolerance education.

Before moving to Houston, she taught high school English in El Paso, Texas, where she was named teacher of the year for 1999-2000.

Ira D. Perry, director of marketing and public relations for the Houston museum, has been re-elected to the 15-member international Executive Committee for the Nonprofit/Association Section of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). PRSA is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals. Its nearly 20,000 members represent business and industry, technology, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations from around the world.

Perry has overseen marketing and public relations for the Houston museum since April 2005 and was first elected to the section's Executive Committee in January 2005.

Perry previously served as vice president of communications for the Greater Houston Partnership and as managing editor for NACE International, a nonprofit engineering professional group based in Katy, Texas. He served two years as executive director of the international Society of Professional Journalists and served several years on the national boards of directors of the Society and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

Perry is a graduate of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and in 1990, was honored as its Distinguished Alumnus by the School of Mass Communications.

Linda Toyota, development officer for the Houston museum, has been elected assistant treasurer of the Houston Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The AFP represents 26,000 members in 172 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and China and works to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. Toyota also serves as chair-elect of Leadership Houston and will become chairman of the organization in July. As such, she will be the first Asian woman to hold that position in 25 years.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Toyota also serves as the volunteer regional coordinator for Leadership America and is a board member of the Japan-America Society of Greater Houston.

She has been selected for inclusion in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, Strathmore's Who's Who Registry of Business Leaders and the United Way's Project Blueprint. She is a recipient of the humanitarian award from the Transitional Women's Diversified Center and the Distinguished Service Award of the Texas affiliate of the American Heart Association. In 2003, she received the YWCA Outstanding Woman of Achievement Award for Community Service.

Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education.

Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston's Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004.

For more information about Holocaust Museum Houston, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
Tel: (713) 942-8000, ext. 103
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Our Public Relations team is eager to assist you in coverage of activities at Holocaust Museum Houston.

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Holocaust Museum Houston is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums.

Hours and Admission
Museum Hours:

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Museum Admission:

$12 for adults
$8 for active-duty military and AARP members
Free for children, students and college-level students with valid ID
Free admission on Sundays

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