Karen Coltrane, who spearheaded the expansion of the Children’s Museum of Richmond, Va., from one to four locations, has been named the new CEO of EdVenture Children’s Museum.
EdVenture’s board selected Coltrane at the end of a nearly one-year search for the replacement of Catherine Horne, the only previous CEO in the museum’s 11-year history. Horne left to take over as CEO at Discovery Place in Charlotte.
Coltrane, 50, has been CEO of the Richmond museum since 2007 and was vice president for development from 2004-2007.
“In our industry, EdVenture has a wonderful reputation,” Coltrane said when asked what had intrigued her to apply for the job. “I was curious seeing that position open when it had never been open before.”
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She and her husband have a son who attends the College of Charleston, and visiting him made them think South Carolina would be a good place to live.
Under Coltrane’s leadership, the Children’s Museum of Richmond added three branch locations and more than doubled its annual attendance to about 500,000. EdVenture, with only one location, brings in about 200,000 visitors per year. Coltrane also reached out by hiring a director of parent engagement and teamed the museum with Commonwealth Parenting, a nonprofit education group.
“Karen’s background and history with the Children’s Museum of Richmond give her a unique set of skills which are ideally suited for the future growth of EdVenture,” said Chip Amaker, chairman of EdVenture’s board. “We have a wonderful and dynamic staff, and with Karen’s leadership, we anticipate continued growth and success in the years to come.”
Coltrane plans to finish the year in Richmond and move to Columbia in January.