Dené Mosier Promoted to President/CEO of Kansas Children’s Discovery Center
In recognition of the museum’s growth, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center Board of Trustees promoted Dené Mosier to president and CEO in February. Mosier has served as Executive Director of the nonprofit children’s museum since 2015.
Mosier has led the organization in eliminating all debt, launching a mobile museum, creating programming for children facing life-threatening illnesses and establishing a prison partnership that allows children to meet their incarcerated mothers or grandmothers at the museum to play. She is committed to ensuring all children have access to high-quality, hands-on learning experiences and finding ways to remove barriers that have previously prevented families from visiting.
Mosier is currently serving as the co-chair for Association of Children's Museums National Conference, on the Momentum 2022 Talent Development Work Group, was a 2017 Woman of Excellence Nominee, and volunteers for Junior Achievement and Meals on Wheels. She worked for many years in the classroom as an early childhood educator and later as the head of the lower school at an independent school. She obtained both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Kansas State University, where she continues to serve as an instructor teaching courses on human development and aging each spring.
The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center also announced record attendance in 2018, hosting 88,423 visitors in 2018. Attendance increased 10.28 percent from 2017.
The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center is gaining prominence as a regional tourist attraction. Of the museum’s 88,423 visitors in 2018, 30.84 percent lived outside Shawnee County. Over 3,000 visitors came from outside Kansas in 2018, including three foreign countries. One family visited from Australia in 2018. Another family drove 1,800 miles from Eugene, Oregon to see a traveling exhibit at the museum. Since opening in 2011, the museum has hosted over 600,000 visitors from all 50 states and 23 countries.
A number of factors contributed to the attendance increase in 2018. The museum served 10,195 field trip students, a 33.94% increase over 2017. In the fall of 2018, the museum hosted an exhibition inspired by the art and characters of the Caldecott-winning author and illustrator, Mo Willems. The traveling exhibit helped bring 22,918 visitors during its run, a 25.48 percent increase in total attendance and a 50.54 percent increase in visitors who live outside Kansas when compared to the same time period in 2017.
Mosier will lead alongside a board of trustees with three new trustees. Kevin Dobski, Dobski & Associates, Inc., Dr. Jackie Hyland, University of Kansas Health System, and Errol V. Williams, retired, will all become trustees in 2019. John Dietrick of HR Partners will serve as chair of the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center Board of Trustees.
Kansas Children’s Discovery Center 2018 Highlights
88,423 visitors, a 10.28 percent increase over 2017
10,195 field trip students, a 33.94% increase over 2017
1,773 member families, an 11.16% increase over 2017
Hosted an exhibition inspired by the art and characters of the Caldecott-winning author and illustrator, Mo Willems. The traveling exhibit generated a 25.48 percent increase in attendance over the same time period in 2017.
Launched a mobile museum to bring outreach play experiences into the community. Mobile Museum served 3,702 participants.
About the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center
Founded in 2011 as the premier children’s museum in Kansas
More than 10% of all admissions are free or donor-subsidized
15,000 square feet of indoor exhibits, including science, careers, building, art, and more
4.5 acre certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom
Hosts programs, field trips, birthday parties, outreach programs and special events
501 c(3), nonprofit organization
Staff of seven full-time employees works alongside part-time gallery assistants and volunteers
7,000 email subscribers, 12,000 annual website views and 15,000+ average monthly social media reach
TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence recognizing 5 consecutive years of positive reviews
Has hosted visitors from all 50 states and 22 countries
2019 Board of Trustees
President/CEO Dené Mosier, Kansas Children’s Discovery Center
Chair John Dietrick, HR Partners
Treasurer Janelle Brazington, Kansas Action for Children, Vice President of Administration
Secretary Melody Devlin, Cotton O'Neil, Nurse Practitioner
Past Chair Dr. Ximena Garcia, community volunteer
Trustee Kaley Anderson, community volunteer
Trustee Kevin Dobski, Dobski & Associates, Inc.*
Trustee Kristina Figuerres, community volunteer
Trustee Jane Gannaway, JPG Consulting LLC
Trustee Susan Garlinghouse, founder and community volunteer
Trustee Kimberly Gibson, community volunteer
Trustee Jake Huyett, jones huyett Partners
Trustee Dr. Jackie Hyland, University of Kansas Health System*
Trustee Kevin Kongs, Westar Energy, VP, Controller
Trustee Marta Kennedy Morales, Registered Nurse
Trustee Ford Ross, M-C Industries, retired
Trustee Stephanie Valley, community volunteer
Trustee Errol V. Williams, se2*
* new trustee in 2019
The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center is a hands-on children’s museum with a mission to enhance the lives of children and enrich the communities it serves. Since opening in 2011 in Topeka, Kansas, KCDC has become a special place where children can explore, create, discover and learn through play. The museum features over 15,000 square feet of indoor exhibits and a 4.5 acre certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. Outreach programs bring quality, hands-on experiences into our community to inspire a lifelong love of learning for every child. More than 600,000 visitors from 22 countries have visited The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center. Learn more at www.kansasdiscovery.org.