Our Team

Rebecca Hart

Executive Director

Rebecca Anne Hart has been the Executive Director at Hart Square Village since 2014. She studied under her grandparents, founders Dr. Bob and Becky Hart for a few years before embarking on a $3.5 million capital campaign for the Sigmon Family Education Center, completed in October of 2021. When Rebecca began, Hart Square was open to the public one day a year and had one employee. Now, Hart Square is open to the public for living history events, traditional craft classes, membership, and other programs on an annual basis. 
Rebecca considers her greatest accomplishment to be establishing the k-12 field trip programming that has grown to serve 3,000 local students. Hart Square's k-12 field trip programming focuses on three key areas: traditional arts and trades, science and agriculture, and history immersion.  Rebecca serves on the Board of Advisors for the Luke Garrison Foundation and as the Vice President of the Catawba County Arts Council. She was recognized as one of Hickory’s “Top 10 under 40” in 2017 and is pursuing her Certified Fund Raising Executive International certification in the summer of 2022. She and her husband, Nate Moody, live in Hickory and enjoy playing bluegrass music and mountain climbing on the weekends.

Lorissa Vines

Development Director

Lorissa Vines is a Catawba County native with a great sense of pride in our community. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 19 years and comes to us from Carolina Caring, where she served as Director of Development for 8 years. During Lorissa's tenure, the annual philanthropic revenue grew to over $1,000,000. 

Lorissa discovered her passion for Hart Square through Leadership Catawba and now serves as an Advisory Board Member. Lorissa was recognized as one of our area's "Top 10 Under 40" in 2019 and successfully completed her Teleios University Leadership Certification in 2021. When she isn't working, Lorissa´╗┐ enjoys hiking, cooking & entertaining friends, and traveling the world with her husband, David.

Dr. Eugene Tesdahl

Director of Collections & Interpretation

Dr. Eugene R.H. Tesdahl serves as Director of Collections and Interpretation at Hart Square. He holds a B.A. in history, secondary education, and museum studies from Luther College, an M.A. in early American history from Miami University, and a Ph. D. in early American history from the University of Colorado. Gene served as a history professor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Benedictine College, and UNC-Charlotte. He taught in high schools in the North of the France and on the South side of Chicago. He also boasts over a decade of public history experience at the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin State Historical Society, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, and the National Park Service. His publications appear in The Journal of Interpretation Research and The North Carolina Historical Review among others. Gene instills a pioneering spirit and welcomes all to the transformative power of history, culture, and art at Hart Square. 

Mya Banner

Membership & Education Manager

Mya Banner has been with Hart Square in several capacities for the past five years. She started at Hart Square as a tour guide and field trip demonstrator, where she would serve children and adults by teaching the history of the collection and local trades. She studied under founders Dr. Bob and Becky Hart starting in 2012. Mya began working full-time for Hart Square as Membership and Education Manager in 2020. She oversaw the launch of our Hart Square Membership Program in July of 2021 and launched the Hart Square Craft School in March of 2022. Mya is responsible for managing field trip programming that has grown to serve 3,000 local students, membership, which includes over 150 members, and monthly craft classes. In addition, Mya manages Hart Square's social media platforms and webpage. 
Mya and her Husband, Neal Banner, are residents of Lincolnton, NC, where they enjoy playing sports and spending time with friends and their cat Squid. Mya is passionate about preserving endangered skills and ensuring the torch of historic arts is passed to the next generation.

Zan Saunders

Site Manager

Zan Saunders grew up at Hart Square, learning the history of the cabins and artifacts.  He is responsible for the maintenance and preservation of the village.  Zan is grateful to have been personally trained by our founder Dr. Hart to be equipped with specific knowledge of the pioneers of our area and their lifestyles.  He trained with Dr. Hart for eight years and has led tours for four years.  He began his position as Site Manager in 2022. Zan ispart of the Hart Square Dance Troupe and enjoy's performing at various living history events at our site.  He graduated from CVCC with an AAS in Mechatronics Engineering Technology. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, reading, and spending time with friends.