Amazeum Announces New Staff Members
In further preparation for its summer 2015 opening, the Amazeum has added five members to its staff.
Diana Eike, has been named office administrator; Dana Engelbert, marketing manager; Pody Gay, guest experience manager; Bryce Graves, facilities manager; and Marie Vukin, early learner specialist.
Were moving right along as the much-anticipated Amazeum continues to become a reality, said Sam Dean, Amazeum executive director. The building is taking shape, and so is our staff. We have brought an incredible team of professionals together from various areas of expertise. These individuals will each contribute to the educationally sound, culturally rich and creative environment at the Amazeum.
Diana Eike, Office Administrator
Eike is a Northwest Arkansas native, who comes to the Amazeum from Visit Bentonville, where she served as lobby manager. A longtime supporter of the Amazeum, she served several years as ticket chair for the Childrens Museum of Northwest Arkansas annual fundraising event Dancing with the Stars of Northwest Arkansas. She is a past president of the Bentonville Public School District Parent Teacher Organization, past volunteer coordinator at Baker Elementary School, and past homeroom coordinator at Elm Tree Elementary School both in Bentonville. She has served on the board of directors for the Ill Fly Away Foundation, as well as several other school- and church-based committees for hospitality and fundraising.
Dana Engelbert, Marketing Manager
Engelbert joined the Amazeum in January. She is responsible for advertising, public relations, social media, and website maintenance and development. Prior to joining the Amazeum, she was the first employee of Dress for Success Northwest Arkansas, where she oversaw day-to-day operations of the agencys boutique and personally suited more than 150 women.
Before moving to Northwest Arkansas in June 2013, Engelbert was vice president of marketing for Goodwill of the Heartland for nearly five years. The agency serves more than 8,000 individuals and families in 16 counties in southeast Iowa and three counties in western Illinois. She also served on the Goodwill Industries International (GII) Marketing Advisory Council and completed the GII Senior Leader Program. She was named to the Corridor Business Journals 40 Under 40 in 2009.
Pody Gay, Guest Experience Manager
As guest experience manager, Gay will be responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing all aspects of the guest engagement in the exhibit hall. She most recently served as director of education at the Louisiana Childrens Museum in New Orleans, where she oversaw play-based, developmentally appropriate high-quality museum experiences; collaborated on plans for strategic initiatives; facilitated staff training and evaluation; and coordinated field trips, daily programs and special programs.
Her museum experience also includes serving as education manager at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale and as education/volunteer coordinator at the Louisiana Nature and Science Center. At the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, she conducted professional development workshops for teachers from 30 school districts; developed interactive educational programs for preschool through 12th-grade students; enlisted collaborative community partnerships; and recruited, trained and supervised education staff and volunteers.
Gay holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Missouri and a master of education degree from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville.
Bryce Graves, Facilities Manager
A lifelong resident of Northwest Arkansas, Graves has more than 25 years experience in maintenance, commercial and residential construction, facilities and project management. He was most recently employed with Ozarks Community Hospital and has prior experience with Bryce Graves Construction and Builtwell Construction. He has enjoyed numerous projects working with local non-profit organizations including Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity and Northwest Arkansas Childrens Shelter, as well as many hours volunteering with youth and children at his local church. He is currently pursuing certification in heating, ventilation and air conditioning at Northwest Arkansas Community College.
Marie Vukin, Early Learner Specialist
For more than 25 years, Vukin has worked with children and their families. As early learner specialist at the Amazeum, she will create, implement and refine developmentally appropriate educational and public programs for children ages 0-5 and pre-K through second grade, as well as for their caregivers. Before earning a master of education degree in counseling education at the University of North Texas, she created the oncology outpatient child life program at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. She has also served as a play therapist/educator in the Philadelphia region.
Upon her familys relocation to Bentonville, Vukin combined her understanding of child development and explored a new direction as a teaching artist for Trike Theatre. She taught classes for young children and facilitated professional development workshops for educators. As an early supporter of the Amazeum, she was a volunteer with the Childrens Museum of Northwest Arkansas, creating several Museum Without Walls community events.
The Amazeum is a hands-on, interactive museum for children and families in Northwest Arkansas, scheduled to open in summer 2015. The nearly 50,000-square-foot space, located at the entrance of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, is designed to engage the imagination of children and their families through hands-on activities and interactive exhibits. Experiences will include a tinkering studio, climbable tree canopy, indoor caves, an art studio and more. Exhibitions will extend to the museum grounds where approximately one acre of land will provide the background for more learning and fun. The Amazeum will also feature indoor and outdoor event space. For additional information about the museum and its progress, visit http://www.amazeum.org.