Part of the Bay Area News Group

Coyote Point Museum has someone new in charge

By rgordon
Monday, March 19th, 2007 at 1:36 pm in Uncategorized.

As promised, the Coyote Point Museum has finally named their new executive director: Rachel Meyer.
Rachel Meyer
For 11 years, Meyer was the executive director of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. During her time there, according to the museum, Meyer “led a turnaround effort that included capital upgrades, new exhibits and new programs resulting in a significant increase in both earned and contributed revenue.”

“We feel that Rachel has the skill sets and personal traits that are a perfect fit for the museum at this time in our history,” Linda Lanier, the president of the museum’s board of trustees, said in a statement.

According to the museum, Meyer also worked for 19 years at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, serving as director of facilities, director of exhibit programs and chief exhibit curator. Meyer worked under Frank Oppenheimer, the Exploratorium’s founder, for nine of her years there. Oppenheimer was a physicist who worked as a research associate on the Manhattan project and was branded a Communist by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1949. His brother, J. Robert Oppenheimer, was a lead scientist on the Manhattan project and the first director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Meyer is set to start at the museum on April 9.

As we noted in our post last week, 47 candidates applied for the position, according to Lanier.

The 52-year-old museum was on the brink of closure when it made its mounting deficit — some $745,000 — public in July. Headed by Lanier, the grass roots Campaign to Save Coyote Point swooped in with a plan to save the museum and $558,000 in pledges from more than 800 donors. The group secured another $500,000 in grants to help bring the museum into the black. Lanier and the museum’s new board are now overseeing an overhaul of the museum’s exhibits to emphasize environmental threats, balancing the budget and significantly increasing fundraising efforts for the endowment. A marine touch pool and live wildlife shows are set to debut in April.

By the way, we deem it worth noting that Reiko Ando, a former employee in the education department at the museum, posted some thoughtful comments over the weekend in response to the mention in last week’s post about the staffing changes going on in her former department. Ando posted an e-mail in its entirety, which she sent to the museum, outlining some of these concerns. Lanier has promised that she’ll bring them before Meyer. As you’ll see in our post last week, the museum has defended the change-up, saying it only serves to expand their educational offerings. We hope you’ll read Ando’s e-mail and perhaps weigh in to the Insider or the museum with your thoughts, too.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

2 Responses to “Coyote Point Museum has someone new in charge”

  1. Reiko Ando Says:

    A quick note: as of today (Monday 3/26) I haven’t yet heard back from CPM about whether Linda Lanier had relayed my concerns to the new executive director. Many of my concerns do not solely rest with me; I have had many phone and email exchanges with other former colleagues who feel that the Museum needs to redirect its priorities. Despite my reservations regarding the Museum administrators’ receptiveness re: dialog, democratic collaboration and transparency, based on what my former colleagues (especially on the Education staff) and I had experienced, I sincerely hope that the hiring of Ms. Meyer to the ED position will revitalize this organization and push it in the right direction. CPM has been a Peninsula treasure for over 5 decades, and I hope that it will go strong into the future.

  2. Reiko Ando Says:

    I’ve gotten word that Ms. Meyer has the letter.

Leave a Reply