The Board of Directors seeks an engaging and charismatic builder/leader to strengthen the new Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery) in all respects as it delivers exciting, content-rich, fun learning experiences to children, families and visitors of all ages in Northern Nevada and the Greater Lake Tahoe area.
Reporting to the Board, the Executive Director is accountable for managing all aspects of the museum’s exhibitions, education and public programming and operations, and for implementing and continually updating the Strategic Plan that sets objectives through 2015. The Executive Director is expected to work closely with the staff to ensure that the museum continues to build a reputation as a distinctive, exciting, thought-provoking place for children, families, teens and adults to explore the natural world, learn about history, and discover their capacity to learn, lead and build as individuals and in teams. This position will retain, build and expand membership and constituencies among a new generation of children, students, parents, adults, partners and supporters, including diverse audiences of different ethnicities and backgrounds, and both residents and seasonal visitors to Reno; create and deliver a balanced mix of aggressive fundraising, development of earned income opportunities, and efficient use of museum resources and continue to build out and enhance its facilities; strengthen the Board, Board Committee structure, and definition of fundraising and governance roles.
The Discovery’s history is one of individual initiative and strong local support by community members and philanthropic institutions. Founded in 2004 by Chris Riche, a local business leader and parent, the organization completed a $19.5 million capital campaign in 2010 to fund purchase, renovation and upgrades to a museum building and land, design, fabrication and installation of exhibits in seven of the museum’s eight galleries, hiring of qualified staff, and development of an appropriate management infrastructure. Affectionately known locally as “The Discovery”, the museum has been strongly embraced by children, the community, schools, parents and grandparents, and has received strong financial support from individual and institutional funders. The museum opened in September 2011 and is named in memory of Terry Lee Wells. Before passing away in 2002, Terry Lee created a foundation dedicated to addressing the many needs of women and children in Northern Nevada.
Located in downtown Reno, the Museum is 40 minutes from Truckee, Lake Tahoe and Carson City and is open six days a week. The Museum encompasses 67,000 square-feet with 32,000 square feet open to the public and room to expand to 41,000 as funding becomes available. Primarily serving families with children 12 years old and younger, and visitors of all ages the museum is conservatively projected to have 140,000 visitors annually in 2014, with about 90% of those visitors coming from residents of the Reno region and 10% from tourists to the region. Current attendance for 2012 is projected to be 170,000. The organization has 23 staff with 300 volunteers and docents providing a wide variety of support to the institution and its visitors. The museum houses the nation’s only Smithsonian Spark!Lab located outside of Washington, D.C., and exhibits inspired by inventors like Leonardo Da Vinci. Through interactive, hands-on exhibits, along with engaging, developmentally appropriate, inquiry-based educational programs, The Discovery makes a significant impact on the educational landscape of Northern Nevada. Museum programs are interdisciplinary and aligned with National and Nevada state standards, encouraging collaboration, deep partnerships with similar institutions, and out-of-the-box thinking to address the educational needs of children and their families.
The Discovery is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the Association of Children’s Museums.