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Meet the Team

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Nicole DeGuzman

​Nicole comes to us from West Texas, where she was the Executive Director of the Scurry County Museum. Before that, she served as the Executive Director of a historic farmstead in the twin cities of Minnesota, the Maplewood Area Historical Society and Bruentrup Heritage Farm. She has thoroughly enjoyed the winters in Texas and has become a Texas convert! She has over 25 years of experience in museums and thoroughly enjoys all aspects of managing a cultural destination. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys hiking, biking, and traveling with family and friends.
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Collections Manager

Heather Bloom

Heather brings to her position an interdisciplinary background and set of diverse experiences, including three years of collections management in both museum and academic settings, facilitation of moving and reorganizing large collections, and development of object-based educational projects connecting rural culture, environmental science, and knowledge preservation. Prior to these experiences, Heather served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Paraguay, where, when not dueling with roosters in her bed, she had the honor of developing a variety of youth-based educational programs and related community exhibitions.
Heather received advanced degrees in History and Spanish from Bowling Green State University. When not playing with artifacts, she enjoys primitive camping, kayaking, and traveling. She lives in Bastrop, Texas with her two very precocious Paraguayan cats.


Traci Frary

Traci Frary joined Carol Kysar as an archivist or some would say anarchist (you'll have to ask Carol about this.)  Traci is from Nebraska and took the scenic route to Bastrop via Kansas, Iowa, New Jersey, Korea, Venezuela, Louisiana, Indonesia and California.  She has worked for the states of Texas and Louisiana, for a Dept. of Defense/NASA-funded research/database project, GE Medical, the VA Medical Center in Houston, the UT-Austin Library, and Del Taco.  Most recently she did a little jail time (photo op only) as a volunteer at the Rosenberg, TX Police Department. She and her husband reside in Bastrop with a yard full of leaf cutter ants, moles and deer.
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Visitor Center Associate

Martha Huett

Born and raised in Texas, Martha found her way back home after living in California, Minnesota and central Mexico where she worked in education and business. Traveling, animal care and pet rescue are passions for Martha. She hopes to continue to add to the list of 26 different countries she has already visited. Living rural between Bastrop and Smithville allows Martha's rescued dogs, cats and pet python to enjoy life under her love and care. Martha feels like she and Bastrop are so perfectly matched that she can't help but thrive here.
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Visitor Center Manager

Gloria Perkins

Relocating to Bastrop in 2011 from New Jersey with her husband, daughter and Brazilian niece, Gloria started volunteering when the Visitor Center moved into its new facilities on Main Street. With a professional background in non-profit administration in metro-New York and a love of history, it was a natural fit for her. She brings a wide range of experience from leadership position opportunities serving The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, The Valerie Fund, The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation (The Charles A. Lindbergh Fund), and the State of Florida Department of Health. Gloria is a proud alumnae of Florida State University and Duke University. She is a member of the B.E.S.T Leadership Program and a Certified Tourism Executive (CTE) candidate through the Texas Travel Alliance. Gloria is also a longtime organic gardener.

Office Manager

Barbara Vana

Born in Hallettsville, Texas, Barbara received a B.A. in History from Lamar University and taught Texas History for 31 years in the Spring Branch Independent School District.  Barbara and her husband, Alex, retired to Bastrop in 2001.  She has been with the Museum for 19 years, responsible for museum operations including accounting functions, museum and bus tours, general correspondence, press releases, quarterly meetings, and preparing the membership newsletter.
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Visitor Center Associate

Candiss Lawrence

Candiss Lawrence began as an associate in the Visitor Center and Museum in October, 2020.  Candiss is a lifelong resident of Texas.  She has resided in Bastrop for five years.  Prior to her move here, she lived in Austin for thirty-five years where she worked in healthcare as a surgical assistant, specializing in Ophthalmology and raised her two children.  Her children and two grandchildren live in Austin. Candiss loves animals of all kinds.  She is a pet sitter in her spare time in addition to caring for and loving her own two dogs and newly acquired kitten.  She also enjoys landscaping and growing microgreens, hiking and camping.

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