Museum Foundation Board Elects New President; Greg Camp to take the reins from retiring Ben Williams
Jan 22, 2016
For Immediate Release
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Museum Foundation Board Elects New President
Greg Camp to take the reins from retiring Ben Williams
Columbus, Georgia – January 22, 2016: The National Infantry Museum Foundation Board of Directors elected Colonel (Retired) Greg Camp to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation at its annual meeting yesterday. The move follows the retirement of Ben F. Williams, Jr., one of the original architects of the new National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center.
Williams first got involved in the museum project in 1999. Fort Benning was beginning to talk about the need for a new museum to house an impressive collection of artifacts, and community leaders were looking for an attraction that the city would become known for. They asked Williams, who had recently retired as Executive Vice President at CB&T, to lead the effort.
Williams and others engaged a Toronto-based museum-planning firm to develop a master plan. They worked with city leaders to select a site, and with Fort Benning to forge a partnership. With the encouragement of a major lead donor to “think big” and a large donation to support it, Williams moved the operation out of the trunk of his car and hired a staff to give the project full-time attention. Fundraising began, and the design team – made up of project managers, architects and exhibit designers – was hired.
Despite the recession, the organization successfully raised enough to begin construction on the $100 million facility. Its grand opening was held in June 2009.
“I never dreamed we could actually accomplish what we did,” Williams said. “We didn’t set out to create a world-class museum, but that’s exactly what it’s become.”
More than 2,000,000 people have visited the museum. Of nearly 1,200 reviews on TripAdvisor.com, 92 percent report a 5-star experience. It is Columbus’s number one attraction, and rates higher than most attractions statewide.
Williams says he’ll miss the ‘family’ of museum and foundation employees that have dedicated their careers to the museum. And he says he’ll miss walking around the museum watching the faces of visitors as they realize just how important the Infantry’s story is. But he says “it’s time to pass the baton,” and to spend more time with wife Rose Marie and their children and grandchildren.
Williams says the Foundation will be in good hands with Camp at the helm, and with the continued support of Chairman Lieutenant General (Retired) Carmen Cavezza and newly elected Vice Chairman Lieutenant General (Retired) Tom Metz. Williams first worked with Camp at CB&T and tapped him to join the team as Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer in 2002. Since then, Camp has led efforts to raise more $100 million, for both the initial construction of the museum and a handful of phase II capital improvements. Camp retired from the Army in 1996; his last assignment was Chief of Staff of the United States Infantry Center and Ft. Benning.
Williams’ retirement is effective January 31, 2016.
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park, a 155-acre tract linking Columbus, Georgia, and the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, is the first world-class site to pay tribute to the U.S. Army Infantryman and those who fight alongside him. As the only interactive Army Museum in the United States, the museum showcases the contributions of the Infantry Soldier in every war fought by the U.S. by offering immersive participation and engaging visitors in the unique experiences of the Infantry Soldier. The complex also includes a parade field, memorial walk of honor, Vietnam Memorial Plaza, authentic World War II Company Street and Giant Screen Theater. For more information, visit http://www.nationalinfantrymuseum.org.