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Patriots Point director to resign later this month after 1 year at museum

Dr. Rorie Cartier (copy) (copy)

Rorie Cartier is resigning from his role as executive director of Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, effective June 30, 2022. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

The executive director of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is stepping down after about a year on the job.

The state-owned maritime museum in Mount Pleasant said June 1 that director Rorie Cartier will leave at the end of the month, citing "personal and family needs" that require him to vacate his role at one of the region's top attractions.

“It has been a pleasure to serve in this role, and the lessons and experiences gained have been invaluable," Cartier said in a statement Wednesday. "I am confident that the museum is on solid footing and will continue to grow, inspire and educate the world on patriotism and honor.”

Cartier's resignation will be effective June 30, and the museum's board will start searching for a new director.

An interim director will step in to lead between Cartier's departure and the start of a new director's tenure, but a specific person hasn't been named for that yet, museum spokesperson Mayci Rechner said.

The board will likely discuss that and the upcoming search at its next meeting, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on June 3.

Cartier was named executive director a little over a year ago, in May 2021, and he started in the role last summer.

He had replaced Larry Murray, who was deputy director for legislative affairs for the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles before becoming executive director at Patriots Point in mid-2019. Murray was in the lead role at the maritime museum for about two years before stepping down in spring 2021.

Murray's predecessor, Mac Burdette, was executive director at Patriots Point for nine years before he retired in 2019.

Before coming to Patriots Point, Cartier was director of the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. He was also an assistant director of development for the Admiral Nimitz Foundation and had leadership positions with the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

Cartier told The Post and Courier last summer that he had a lot of goals for the waterfront museum including getting it accredited — something he was able to do at the museum in Texas.

“The potential that this place has is just phenomenal,” Cartier said at the time.

In a statement, Patriots Point board vice chairman Wayne Adams said he was sorry Cartier isn't able to stay at the museum and pointed to the success that Patriots Point had last year.

Like tourist attractions across the state, Patriots Point had to close early on in the pandemic and suffered from a drop in attendance but saw demand return during 2021. Demand has also been strong this year.

"We appreciate his service and leadership during the past year as we recovered from the pandemic," Adams said of Cartier.

Last year was a "very good year" for the museum, Adams said, adding that the museum expects that to continue "over the coming months."

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Reach Emily Williams at 843-607-0894. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.