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Discovery Center Museum names its new Executive Director

Discovery Center executive director-designate Lana Paris
Discovery Center Museum
Discovery Center executive director-designate Lana Paris

The Discovery Center Museum Board of Directors today (Jan. 16) announced the appointment of Lana Paris as the new executive director, effective February 1, 2024. Paris, currently serving as Discovery Center’s Development Director, will succeed Sarah Wolf, who will conclude her four-decade tenure as the museum's Executive Director on January 31.

In a press release announcing the move, Jim DiVerde, Discovery Center Board President, stated, “We were seeking a candidate with a vision that would build upon the museum’s legacy of success and lead the organization on a path of sustainable growth. Lana’s experience in nonprofit leadership and fundraising, coupled with her collaborative leadership style, will be vital as the museum and its fantastic staff members continue their work to build strong education programs and exhibits, cultivate community partnerships, and increase accessibility.”

Also in the release, Sarah Wolf, the outgoing Executive Director, stated, “Lana cares deeply about the mission and vision of Discovery Center. She has done a tremendous job in her role as Director of Development, and I am confident she will lead the museum to continued growth and success.”

“It’s a great privilege to be selected by the Board of Directors to lead Discovery Center Museum,” Paris was quoted as saying in the release. “I’m excited about the future of the museum and the opportunity to work with our incredible staff and community partners to ensure the museum thrives for decades to come.”

The release stated that, as Development Director, Paris was responsible for the museum’s fundraising and grant-writing efforts.

It also highlighted Paris' more than 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector. That includes prior roles as the Executive Director of the Rock Valley College Foundation, Chief Advancement Officer at Wesley Willows, and Vice President of United Way of Rock River Valley before joining Discovery Center. Paris has served on the board of numerous community organizations and currently serves on the Board of Keith Country Day School.