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Business Observer Monday, Jan. 27, 2020 3 weeks ago

Philanthropy executive leaves one area nonprofit for another

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The Florida Aquarium hires Kara Wagner, formerly of Moffitt Cancer Center, as chief development officer.

TAMPA — Kara Wagner has joined The Florida Aquarium as chief development officer and will begin work Feb. 27. She comes to the aquarium from another Tampa nonprofit, H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center and Research Institute, where she served as associate vice president of philanthropy.

According to a press release, Wagner will be responsible for leading initiatives that support the aquarium’s $27 million annual budget, as well as its recently announced $14 million capital campaign.

“We are excited to have someone with Kara’s impressive record of philanthropic achievements added to our executive team,” Florida Aquarium President and CEO Roger Germann states in the release. “As The Florida Aquarium begins to embark on ambitious initiatives in the coming years, Kara’s extensive values-driven leadership style, consistent record of fundraising success, passion for conservation and learning and continued commitment to elevating the aquarium’s mission throughout the Tampa Bay region and across the nation are essential to our long-term success.”

Wagner, the release states, brings more than 15 years of institutional development and advancement experience to her new role.

“This is an exciting time for The Florida Aquarium as they not only celebrate 25 years in the community, but have their vision set on expanding their mission and operations to do even more to serve Tampa Bay, the state of Florida and the nation,” Wagner states. “I look forward to working with this talented team, board, donors and community of supporters at the region’s premier not-for-profit cultural institution. From a philanthropic standpoint, there is literally an ‘ocean of opportunities’ ahead.”

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