1835 W. Steele Lane, Santa Rosa 95403; 707-546-4069; cmosc.org
Professional background: Graphic designer, children's computer game designer
Education: BFA in graphic design with minor in English from University of North Texas
Staff size: 3 full-time, 2 part time, 13 board members
Describe your organization.
The Children's Museum of Sonoma County is a safe place where children and their parents or caretakers can experience science, art and nature together through hands-on playful exploration.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Through a love of discovery and learning, I started the Children's Museum of Sonoma County in 2005 after realizing there was nothing comparable for families in Sonoma County. With virtually no start up funding, I have grown the organization from a group of volunteers, with a similar passion to serve children, into a viable nonprofit for Sonoma County serving well over 10,000 children each year through the mobile Museum-on-the-Go program. In the past two years, I helped locate and sign a lease on an existing building located adjacent to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Assisted in writing a grant that awarded the Children's Museum $1.8 million in funding for an outdoor education space at the Museum.
What is your role in the organization?
As CEO, I am responsible for leading and carrying out the vision of the organization and the policies of the Board of Directors. As Creative Director, I am responsible for the branding of the organization, including exhibit design, marketing materials, social media and website.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Creating and growing the mobile Museum-on-the-Go Program for the Children's Museum, which has served well over 50,000 children since it was founded in 2005.
What is your biggest challenge today?
Raising money to open the permanent Children's Museum site on West Steele Lane and continued operations of the Museum-on-the-Go program.
What the next major project either under way or on the horizon?: Opening the permanent Children's Museum full-time to the public in October of 2013 and becoming economically sustainable through admissions and operations.
What product or service would/or is helping you do your job more effectively?
Donor Database Software, Fund Development Consulting, Classes at the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, Association of Children's Museums website and annual conference
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?
Parents and teachers will rely more and more on children's museums as safe places where ALL children, alongside other children of varying ages and backgrounds, are able to experience ideas and concepts not readily available in their classrooms or homes. It will be incumbent upon Children's Museums more and more to encourage and develop 21st Century learning skills, such as creativity and innovation, through the joy of hands-on play.
Most admired businesspersons outside your organization: Difficult to pick just one! Jean Schulz, Founder of the Charles M. Schulz Museum, Gordon Dow, Founder of Dow Pharmaceuticals and Dale Dougherty, Founder of MAKER Fair and MAKE Magazine
Current reading: God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir by John Bul Dau and Michael Sweeney
Most want to meet: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
Stress relievers: My family, reading, hiking, swimming
Favorite hobbies: Learning anything new, historical novels and nonfiction, painting and drawing