top of page Announces Incorporation and Board of Directors

May 25, 2021

We are excited to announce that has been recognized as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization! This important step will allow us to fundraise to increase our impact and build strategies to sustain our efforts for the long term. While we might be incorporated, our goals and objectives remain the same:

  • Establish and maintain an online platform to connect out-of-work museum staff with employers who have job opportunities and to facilitate networking;

  • Provide museum professionals and staff with no-cost mentoring and professional development opportunities;

  • Facilitate opportunities for ongoing conversations about the future of careers in the museum field and the transferability of museum-related skills to other sectors.

We are grateful to the following colleagues who have agreed to serve on our inaugural Board of Directors:

Walter Staveloz

Founder & President

Walter became the first executive director of ECSITE, the European association of science centers, in 1995. In 2006, he became the Director of International Relations at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) based in Washington DC. He is now an international consultant and is a Fulbright Specialist in public engagement with science.

Tom Zaller

Vice President

Tom is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment and exhibition industries and has been instrumental in creating, producing, and marketing some of the world’s most popular exhibitions and attractions that have been seen by nearly 40 million people.

Kim Kiehl


Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl is the Chief Operating Officer for the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Previously, she held positions as the Senior VP of Experience & Operations at Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio, Director of the Museum of Ohio Project at Ohio History Connection (2016-2018), Executive Director of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (2012-2016). She has also served as Chief Strategy and Operations Officer and Senior Vice President (2000-2012) at COSI.

Ellen Trappey

Co-Founder & Secretary

Ellen currently serves as the Senior Director of Alumni Relations at Thomas Jefferson University. Before the pandemic, Ellen served as the Director of the Philadelphia Science Festival and oversaw public events at The Franklin Institute, a leading science center in Philadelphia, PA.

James Bell

James Bell, EdM, has been Project Director and Principal Investigator of the Center for Advancement of  Informal Science Education (CAISE) at the Association of Science and Technology Centers since 2010. Prior to that, Mr. Bell has held a variety of leadership positions in the STEM education field, including in youth programs and museum exhibit development at the Exploratorium, teacher professional development at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and as a consultant in science center exhibit development at TERC. Mr. Bell also spent 3 years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia founding a Center of  Learning department at Petrosains: The Discovery Center. He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon and  Harvard Universities and is a 2021 Fellow in education at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Elif M. Gokcigdem, PhD

Elif is an author, a historian of Islamic art, and a museum scholar who is committed to creating fertile grounds of empathy through informal learning platforms to inspire positive behavior change, caring mindsets, and compassionate worldviews that value all of humanity and the planet. She is the editor of two visionary books on empathy-building.

Katey Ahmann

Katey has worked in the museum field for over 20 years, first at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Sciences and later in Raleigh at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS). She is currently Head of the Immersive Experiences unit within the NCMNS Education Department. Katey’s outside affiliations include the Advisory Committee member for the NSF-funded National Teen Science Café Network (TSCN).

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