Children's museum's first executive director leaving

Joe Cox, Executive director,Golisano Children's Museum of Naples on NewsMakers 2-26-12

Joe Cox, Executive director,Golisano Children's Museum of Naples on NewsMakers 2-26-12

The Golisano Children's Museum of Naples founding executive director, Joe Cox announced Tuesday that he is leaving Naples to seek another career challenge.

Joe Cox is returning to his roots after eight years as the founding executive director of the children's museum. He has been named president of the EcoTarium, New England's leading science and nature center in Worcester, Mass.

Cox formerly served as nature center director for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

"Eight years ago I joined the museum founders to fulfill a dream to provide an exciting, inspiring environment where children and their families play, learn and dream together," Cox said in a statement.

"Together we have accomplished that dream."

His last day at the Naples museum was Tuesday. Cox's anticipated start date at the EcoTarium, an indoor-outdoor museum, is Oct. 1.

Under his leadership, the children's museum raised more than $26.5 million to open the 30,000-square-foot building in February. Since then, more than 100,000 visitors have visited.

"The board is deeply appreciative for the significant contributions Joe has made to the successful opening of the museum," Ed Jones, chairman of the museum's board of directors, said in a prepared statement.

"The museum has become a jewel in the Naples community in a very short time."

The museum board has commissioned Kittleman and Associates, a search firm specializing in nonprofit leadership, to assist in the search for its new CEO.

In the meantime, Dave Imbrogno, from the Dragonfly Group based in northeast Ohio, will serve as the interim-transitional director.

Imbrogno has had many years of experience both as a consultant to a variety of nonprofit organizations as well as serving as executive director to major museums, parks and other organizations across the country, according to a prepared statement.

After conducting a national search, Cox's energy, enthusiasm and knowledge stood out when he met with the EcoTarium's board of trustees. In addition, Cox's ability to build partnerships with other organizations in the community.

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