""September 7, 2022—The Board of Directors of Marbles Kids Museum is pleased to announce it has selected Jonathan Frederick as the museum’s new Chief Executive Officer. For more than a decade, Frederick has served as the director of the NC Science Festival, a core initiative of UNC- Chapel Hill’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center that engages 500-plus organizations statewide across economic sectors and is recognized as the first celebration of its kind in the nation and one of the largest in the world.

Frederick is a career leader in out-of-school learning environments and believes great regions must have great museums. He said, “As a Triangle resident, I have long admired Marbles Kids Museum’s deep work in the community offering child-centered, play-based learning experiences and am eager to help grow Marbles as the shining example of how our community cares about children and their families.”

Frederick was selected through a national search conducted in partnership with the nonprofit consulting firm moss+ross. He joined Marbles at the end of June, replacing CEO Sally Edwards, who announced earlier this year that she would be stepping down, after leading the museum’s first 15 years.

Julie Paul, current Marbles Board Chair, was among the community leaders who selected Edwards in 2007 to execute a planned merger and create a new children’s museum. “Sally’s strategic vision, creativity and business acumen led to the unprecedented launch and rapid growth of Marbles, today a top destination in North Carolina and among the nation’s most visited children’s museums,” said Paul. “Jonathan’s experience and contagious energy make him the perfect leader to build from here,” she said. “His passion for kids, informal learning and accessibility is palpable and will usher in fresh ideas and expansive possibilities for Marbles and the children we serve.”

Todd Boyette, the Director of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, said “Jonathan’s strongest quality is his ability to innovate and create. He is a big thinker. But more than that, he pulls together the people needed to execute the big ideas.” And according to Denise Young, Executive Director at Bell Natural History Museum, “Diversity, equity and inclusion are part of who Jonathan is as a person and a leader–a core value reflected in the way he approaches his work. From serving rural communities to creating programming for scientists of color to reach children of color and inspire the next generation, he’s made an intentional investment of time and attention to get it right.”

Frederick began his career in Tampa, Florida as an educator at a major aquarium. In 2001, he moved to North Carolina to develop the first residential environmental education program in N.C. State Parks history. He has a B.S. in Biology from Penn State University and a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from UNC-Wilmington.

Edwards says the timing is right for a leadership transition at Marbles, with the nonprofit museum sustaining positive momentum and attracting new opportunities after bouncing back strong from the pandemic thanks to an outpouring of community support. “I am elated to see a leader of Jonathan’s caliber and deep commitment take the reins at Marbles and can’t wait to see what the future holds,” said Edwards. “He will enjoy working alongside an active board of directors, dedicated public and private partners and an incredibly talented staff to advance the Marbles mission to spark imagination, discovery and learning through play.”

Source: Marbles Kids Museum