EcoTarium, New England's leading science and nature center, today announced the appointment of Joseph P. Cox as the organization's new president. In this position, Mr. Cox will lead the EcoTarium as it continues to build on its past success in inspiring a passion for science and nature.
Mr. Cox replaces Stephen M. Pitcher, who has served as the EcoTarium's president since 2005 and will continue his career in non-profit transitional management. Under Pitcher's leadership, the EcoTarium has embarked on an ambitious series of investments in facilities, exhibits and educational programming, as well as gained financial strength, and become the most visited cultural attraction in Worcester.
"We're absolutely thrilled to have Joe assume leadership of the EcoTarium at this time in our history," said Todd E. Brodeur, chair of the board of trustees. "Joe is a truly visionary leader. The EcoTarium and our community as a whole will benefit from his passion, ability to build strong partnerships, and skills in strategic planning and sound fiscal management. We couldn't be more excited about our prospects and the experiences we will create for our guests and members."
Mr. Cox joins the EcoTarium from the Golisano Children's Museum of Naples, Florida, where he served as the museum's founding executive director. At Golisano Children's Museum, he was responsible for master planning, exhibit design and construction oversight. Under his leadership, the museum raised more than $26.5 million to open the 30,000 square foot building—the first of its kind in Southwest Florida. In its first five months, the museum welcomed over 100,000 visitors, surpassing all projections.
Previously, Mr. Cox served as nature center director for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, where he provided oversight of operations and management for the 14-acre nature center, including its award-winning environmental education programs. Prior to that, he served as director of marketing for the Malta Ornithological Society (MOS). Founded in January 1962, MOS is the oldest environmental organization in Malta and is part of an international network dedicated to the efficient management of scientific bird ringing in Europe.
Mr. Cox is a graduate of St. Mary's University, London, with a degree in environmental science, and he earned a master's degree in museum studies from the University of Leicester. He completed a residency at the Getty Museum Leadership Institute and a fellowship in museum practice at the Smithsonian Institution.
"I'm extremely honored to join the EcoTarium and its talented and committed team. I look forward to joining the Worcester community and sharing my commitment and passion for science, nature and learning with such a great organization," said Mr. Cox. "The EcoTarium is such a venerable organization, with a long history of delivering value for its guests and members. I expect that, together, we will carry on and extend that great tradition."
Brodeur said Cox will work closely with Pitcher on a transition of leadership and expressed appreciation for Pitcher's many contributions to the organization.
"With a steady hand and clear vision for the future, Steve Pitcher has made a hugely important and positive impact on our institution and our community," said Mr. Brodeur. "Together with his staff, he steered our organization to significant growth, positioning us for an even more exciting future as we enter our third century of serving the community. We are very grateful to Steve for his dedication to the EcoTarium."
Under Pitcher's leadership, the EcoTarium enjoyed a 30 percent increase in visitation and 14% rise in membership. Of the more than 127,000 annual guests, nearly 25,000 visited as part of educational groups underscoring the EcoTarium's importance as an educational resource for schools and communities throughout the region. Pitcher led the rebranding of the EcoTarium, initiated new community partnerships, and was responsible for converting the Alden Planetarium to digital technology -- the first in Massachusetts -- and for creating the museum's new world class exhibition, The Arctic Next Door: Mount Washington.
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