Curt Simmons to Succeed Wittmack as SCI President and CEO
For Immediate Release — Tuesday, August 28, 2012
DES MOINES, IA: Curt Simmons, the Science Center of Iowa’s (SCI) current Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, will become SCI’s President and CEO beginning September 1, 2012.
Simmons will succeed Art Wittmack, who has served as President and CEO since the summer of 2011. At that time, Wittmack was charged with developing a long-term strategy for the organization’s vision and leadership. He and Simmons have been collaborating for the last year to prepare Simmons to take the leadership reins.
"During the past year, Art and Curt worked together to develop a dynamic business model and team that will serve SCI well as it enters a new stage of its organizational life," said SCI Board Chair Dr. Matthew Mouw. "We’re excited for the future under Curt’s leadership."
Having spent 25 years in the museum industry, the last six with SCI, Simmons brings a deep understanding and working knowledge of the challenges and opportunities of the business to his new leadership role. He has been active in the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council’s working groups and is a member of the five-person team established by the Iowa Department of Education to implement the new K-12 "Next Generation Science Standards."
"Iowa’s need for STEM education is crucial," said Simmons. "Young Iowans are growing up in a science and technology-based world, and for them to compete locally and globally, it’s essential that they be science and technology literate."
Simmons adds that science museums are undergoing a paradigm shift. "The new approach is to partner with the community to co-author experiences," he said. "In my new role, I’ll work to further SCI’s contribution to science learning initiatives that equip the next generation of Iowans with the critical thinking skills they’ll need to succeed both personally and professionally."
About the Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater
The Science Center of Iowa engages and inspires Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning. The 110,000-sq. ft facility located in Downtown Des Moines features dynamic experience platforms, large format theaters and daily interactive science demonstrations. Through daily visitors, a statewide educational outreach programs and the NAEYC-accredited SCI Preschool, the Science Center of Iowa serves more than 300,000 people annually.
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