Board of Directors
Anne's involvement with Vent Haven Museum is also nearly lifelong. At age 10 she dusted dummies for then curator Dorothy Millure. Annie became curator in 1994 and served in that position for seven years during which time she created the first complete digital inventory & catalog of figures. In 2001, Anne was invited to serve on the Board of Directors; she also works as the Media Coordinator for the Vent Haven ConVENTion each summer.
John S "Brook" Brooking
Brook has been connected to Vent Haven Museum in one capacity or another for most of his life. In 2006, when prior Vent Haven President John R.S. Brooking passed away, Brook took over as president, and has since served in the dual capacity of president and legal counsel. Brook is a practicing attorney in Ft. Wright, KY.
A toy Danny O'Day dummy accompanied by Jimmy Nelson's Instant Ventriloquism album ignited Tom Ladshaw's lifetime passion when he was only five years old. Following years of performing worldwide in venues ranging from comedy clubs to cruise ships, Tom settled near Vent Haven Museum, where he volunteers regularly. He joined the Board of Directors in 2017.
Lisa was curator of Vent Haven Museum from 2000-2008. In 2009 she joined the Board of Directors and became curator again in 2013. Lisa wrote a complete biography of founder W.S. Berger in 2015. She also organized the elements of the collection into several databases. She and her husband Bryan are working to digitize the massive archives.
Bob has lived in Cincinnati since 1978, retiring from Procter & Gamble in 2002. He attended his first ConVENTion in that year, first out of curiosity but later out of appreciation for what it takes to be a ventriloquist. He has volunteered in many capacities at Vent Haven Museum, and agreed to join the Board of Directors in 2017. Bob is active in many other local organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Jimmy Nelson proudly said that the highlight of his 70 year career as a ventriloquist was in 2011 at the Vent Haven ConVENTion when he was presented with the DEAN OF AMERICAN VENTRILOQUISTS distinction by the President and Board of the Vent Haven Museum. His long career included many television appearances, including two years on the Texaco Star Theater with Milton Berle, his own two series, Come Closer on ABC, and Studio 99 1/2 on WNTA New York. He is mostly remembered for his ten year association with the Nestle Chocolate Company as spokesman on network television with his figures Danny O’Day and Farfel. In 1956 he married singer Betty Norman, who assisted him in television and nightclub appearances. They lived in Cape Coral, Florida and were visited regularly by their six children. Jimmy was a member of the Vent Haven Museum Board of Advisors from the origination of that group until 2018, when he was named Director Emeritus.
Vent Haven ConVENTion
Mark Wade has served as the Executive Director of the Vent Haven ConVENTion since 2000, and he has served on the Board of Advisors to the Vent Haven Museum for the past 41 years. He is a past “International Ventriloquist of The Year,” an author, lecturer, and presenter who has traveled around the globe promoting ventriloquism. Mark is noted for being “America’s Foremost Children’s Ventriloquist,” a title that he greatly cherishes. He has even written the textbook on how to perform vent for children, Kidshow Ventriloquism. This book is now in use in 26 countries, including a Japanese language edition.