New officers elected for Gates Historical Society


The Gates Historical Society elected board member Garth Brokaw as incoming president, replacing Susan Swanton, who held the role in 2019-21.  

Swanton will become secretary to the board. Marjorie Bouwens will serve as vice president and newsletter editor. 

Garth Brokaw.

Elected for a three-year term is Paula Blackburn, adult services librarian at Gates Public Library, and filling the balance of a two-year term is Betty Cline. Elected for a second, three-year term are board members Marlene Sutliff and Swanton. 

Brokaw currently assists with several GHS committees and works with Sutliff, who, as curator for the museum, ensures that donations fit in the Hinchey Homestead’s period of significance from the 1870s to 1910s.  

“The Hinchey Homestead is a remarkable visual cue that stimulates one's curiosity about the history of the town of Gates,” Brokaw said. “The history of every town reminds of as to who we are as a community, as a nation. Every story is a treasure. I am honored to serve as the Gates Historical Society works to preserve those treasures. " 

The Rev. Brokaw’s background includes serving as executive director of American Baptist Homes and Caring Ministries Association, president and CEO of Fairport Baptist Homes, president of the Fairport-Perinton Senior Living Council Board, a member of the Linkages Board for the Rochester Sister City program, and a docent for the Landmark Society and Genesee Country Village and Museum.  

Bouwens is a lifelong resident of Gates, owner of local business Sign of Jonah and secretary of the Gates Garden Club.  

“I am very happy to be a part of the Gates Historical Society,” Bouwens said. “So much of our history guides our future. Preserving and sharing our rich history is very important. The Society is working hard to keep our history alive for everyone.” 

New officers and board members were elected by members the annual meeting by secret ballot. Deputy Town Supervisor Chris DiPonzio swore in the new officers and board members. Former board member Lee Krist chaired the Nominations Committee.  

Deputy Town Supervisor Chris DiPonzio, left, swears in new Gates Historical Society board members and officers Betty Cline, Marlene Sutliff, Marjorie Bouwens, Garth Brokaw, Susan Swanton and Paula Blackburn.

Continuing on the board are Raymond Coons as treasurer, Christine Maurice, Virginia Paddock and Swingle. There is a one-year vacancy that Brokaw is seeking to fill. Email for information.