Meet our Staff

Executive Director

Lynne Harakal, originally from Bethlehem, PA, is a graduate of Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communications. Lynne moved to New Bern in 2004 and in 2008 joined the New Bern Historical Society as its Executive Director and continued to serve in that role until 2016 when she became the Executive Director of Swiss Bear, Inc. She also serves on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, New Bern Historical Society Board of Directors, North Carolina Downtown Development Association Board of Directors, and the downtown New Bern MSD working group. Lynne is married to Mark Harakal and has two grown and married daughters, Nikole who is married to Bradford Jefferson and Kyra who is married to Kyle Rizzo.

Events Director

Ann Marie Byrd, originally from South Bend, IN, is a graduate of Michigan State University (B.A., M.A.) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (Ph.D.).  Ann Marie moved to New Bern in 2021 and joined the New Bern Magazine team as their feature writer and photographer, and subsequently began her role as the Events Director with Swiss Bear, Inc.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for New Bern Civic Theatre, and directs for both the Civic and Rivertowne Players.  Ann Marie has been a theatre professor, director, actor and scholar for nearly 20 years.  She is married to Danny Byrd, and enjoys spending time with her husband and their pets, Nyko and Lily, at their home in New Bern.