Get to Know the Ella Staff – Diane

Get to Know the Ella Staff – Diane

Who is Diane?

Hello Jackson! I’m thrilled to launch a series of blog posts from the Ella Sharp Museum. We have a great team and we’d like you to get to know us better.

I am married and have three grown stepsons. My husband, Michael Hassan, and I moved to Jackson in late December of 2016. We’re both Chicago-area natives and we’ve been married almost 14 years. I’ve been lucky to live in several states and I even got to spend most of a year in another country—Panama. I love to travel, and I love to explore, probably because my parents were intrepid and always took me and my sister along. As children we got to visit Canada, England, France, Japan, Hong Kong, and Turkey. We took long driving vacations across the US and camped in a lot of national parks. Travel is one of my top fun things to do. I once took a winter driving trip from Chicago around Lake Michigan. We went through the mitten and spent New Year’s Eve in Sault Ste. Marie. It was beautiful, cold, but beautiful. Then across the UP and back down through Wisconsin. Luckily, we didn’t hit any bad snowstorms, but it was an adventure.

When I stay home, I love to cook and bake. Michael handles most of our weeknight dinners but I like to spend time on weekends making something special. I collect cookbooks and had a special bookcase built near our kitchen just to hold the collection. I even have some fun vintage Michigan-themed ones.



What’s your role at ESM?

I serve as the museum’s Executive Director. I work with a team of 14 full time and four part time employees who are all creative, dedicated, and hard working.


What do you miss the most during the COVID-19 stay home stay safe time?

I miss exploring. Michael and I have loved getting to know our new home. We like to pick a new destination and spend a Saturday visiting a new city.


Where is the first place you are going when the restrictions are lifted?

We’ve been planning a garden for our new home. We had a huge vegetable garden in Illinois and we haven’t had a chance to create one here. Last fall we built a big fenced in spot to keep the deer out and we planted a cherry tree and two apple trees. This year we need to create garden beds and start planting. I think the first place I’ll want to go is the garden center!


What is your favorite thing about ESM?

I don’t have just one favorite thing—I love the variety of things we do and the opportunities they create. I like walking the grounds and finding painted rocks left by local families. I like hearing school groups in the exhibit galleries, and I am always happy to see the crowd at our summer Patio Parties!

  • On April 2, 2020