"As Executive Director of the Straus Historical Society, my job is many faceted. In fact, when people ask me what I do for a living, I'm hard pressed to give them an answer. I am an historian, genealogist, social historian, author, public speaker, event planner, interface between the Straus family and the media/public. I am a researcher, archivist, educator .... the list goes on and on.
I am not formally trained to do any of these jobs. But have been successfully pursuing each for them for more than twenty years. My original training was in special education. I taught at the elementary level until my first child was born. I was lucky enough to stay home with my children during their most formative years. When they were in junior high school I worried that my brain would atrophy so I put an ad in the NY Times stating that I would do research for people. This was long before the Internet. I read and wrote reports and loved the freedom of time as well as my ability to choose those topics that were of interest. One of the people who contacted me was Robert K. Straus from Santa Barbara, CA. He called in 1990 and explained that his family had owned Macy's for more than 100 years but that they were bought out in 1986 in a very bitter leveraged buy-out. Since that time he had been hiring people, trying to get his family's personal papers out of the store. None had succeeded. I was successful and the Straus Family Project was born from that effort. In 1998 we became a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit, Straus Historical Society."
- Joan Adler