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Hands On! Discovery Center

Gray, TN

Executive Director

The Hands On! Discovery Center (HODC) is in the search for an Executive Director. Please click to view the full position description or to nominate/apply.

HODC opened its doors in 1987 as a children’s hands-on education center and relaunched in 2018 to include programs for adults and students of higher education. The new facility, managed and staffed in partnership with East Tennessee State University, is located at the Gray Fossil Site near Johnson City in northeastern Tennessee. Programs and exhibits feature plant and animal fossils unearthed at the site, which has catalogued over 30,000 fossils dating back some 5 million years, one of the best collections in the world and including the remains of a 10-ton mastodon. With an annual budget of $1.2M, assets of $1.9M, 15 active board members, and 8 full and 15 part-time staff, HODC annually hosts 94,000 visitors from around the nation.

The Board seeks a fund-raising/friend-raising museum professional to engage Northeast Tennessee residents and visitors in educational experiences, provide hands-on experiences of scientific methods of discovery, and promote a lifelong love of learning and education at all ages and in all forms. While there is no urgent need for a capital upgrade, there is significant potential to expand HODC’s physical infrastructure, exhibition space, and programs in partnership with East Tennessee State University. This region of Tennessee has substantial potential for further development, and there are expanding businesses in logistics, manufacturing, hospitality, health, and entertainment.

We appreciate you sharing the position description with your network and any nominations you might have.

For additional information or to apply, please contact Dennis Hanthorn, Lee Kappelman, or Mark Oppenheim at info[at]moppenheim[dot]com

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