By Anne Leake Johnson
Discovery Place, Inc. in Charlotte announced Tuesday that Catherine Wilson Horne, chief executive officer of a South Carolina children’s museum, has been selected as its new CEO and president.
“Catherine brings a tremendous depth of understanding about both science centers and children’s museums,” said Mark McGoldrick, co-chair of Discovery Place’s CEO search committee. “We are delighted to have found someone with Catherine’s mix of leadership, imagination and knowledge plus the proven ability to engage and fundraise.”
Horne will take over responsibilities in late January and succeed John Mackay, who will retire at the end of December after a 13-year career at the helm of the science center.
“It is an honor to join the Discovery Place team,” Horne said. “I look forward to expanding the strong foundation built by John Mackay and to creating new opportunities for Discovery Place to engage with and provide vital educational experiences to our communities. The Discovery Place museums can bring families, schools and communities closer to the magic of hands-on learning and the wonders of science.”
Since 2003, Horne has served as CEO of EdVenture in Columbia, which has 230,000 visitors annually. She oversaw expansion of the museum, secured major grants and won national leadership awards.
She takes over the Discovery Place as it seeks to expand its work beyond the Charlotte region, noted board chair Chris Perri. The expansion includes opening a branch in Rockingham and launching an education studio for teacher professional development.
“Catherine brings an intense personal commitment to the informal education mission of Discovery Place,” said Joan Lorden, co-chair of the search committee. “Her ability to communicate the importance of that mission to the community, along with her ability to develop strategic partnerships and to build successful teams, will be major assets as she assumes her new role.”
Discovery Place will officially welcome Horne and introduce her to the community at its Unite to Ignite Gala on Feb. 1, 2014.