Barbara and Dick Couch
How are you connected to the Montshire?
Dick and I are members personally, and we both serve on the Montshire Corporation. Hypertherm is a member of the Montshire Corporate Associates (MCA), the Museum’s business membership program.
Why do you choose to be involved?
The Montshire Museum is a true gem. We are so fortunate to have a place like it in our region. Not only is it a place to visit, but also the outreach programs that touch community members young and old are quite amazing. The Montshire has a large reach, engages many, and makes a real difference in the lives of many. I was there recently when several school buses drove up filled with disadvantaged young students. Seeing the delight on the faces of those kids as they entered the museum was heartening. It’s moments like those that make us humbled and proud to support the Montshire.
When was the first time you came to the Montshire?
More than 30 years ago with our daughters when they were young. At the time, the Montshire was located on Lyme Road in Hanover, NH, and we could walk to the museum. Lucky us. Our girls still remember swinging on the swing sets, playing with the bubbles, and being totally frightened by the room of taxidermy animals.
What is your favorite Montshire experience?
Seeing it for a “second time” through the lens of our two young granddaughters. Eloise, the three year old and oldest of the two, asks to go to the museum the moment she walks in the door (she lives in Boston). She discovers new joys every time we are there. She is still fascinated by the black bear in the cave at Andy’s Place, but has yet to muster the courage to go in without me. It’s true, I crawl in with her.
What do you wish everyone knew about the Museum?
Through Hypertherm’s MCA membership, our associates and their families are invited to the Museum free of charge twice a year. They LOVE this event and look forward to it every time. Hundreds attend. I get emails following the day or evening they attended thanking Hypertherm for allowing them this opportunity. They are so grateful. The Montshire Corporate Associates program provides a great benefit to company employees and their families.
Is there one word you would use to describe the Museum?
My granddaughter’s response is “bubbles!” I will add to that “exciting.”
What do you find most rewarding about the upcoming exhibition, How People Make Things?
Hypertherm is all about technology and innovation. We design and manufacture equipment for cutting through steel and other materials. “How People Make Things tells the story of how everyday items are manufactured and it brings to life the people, ideas and technology that transform raw materials into finished products.” We can think of no better exhibit to sponsor than this one. This exhibit is sure to resonate and have meaning for our associates and their families. We might even create a “Hypertherm Museum Day” so associates are sure to go. We are eager to find creative ways to ignite the passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related experiences in young ones. We believe that How People Make Things has the power to do that.
What do you think the Montshire will be like in ten years?
The Montshire will most definitely still be a popular destination for learning and exploration and it will continue to play an influential role in our educational infrastructure, especially around STEM education. Over the next 10 years, I foresee the Montshire continuing to expand beyond its four walls and moving into our rural community schools, virtually, physically and experientially.
Which other museums do you enjoy visiting?
These days, we seem to migrate to children’s museums. As I said earlier, the granddaughters rule!