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Museum restructures leadership team, names COO

The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples turns 10 years old in 2022.

  • By
  • | 10:08 a.m. August 31, 2021
Courtesy. Dena Rae Hancock
Courtesy. Dena Rae Hancock
  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
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NAPLES — The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples has restructured its leadership team, including shifting Dena Rae Hancock from executive director to CEO. 

The museum, known as CMON, also named Jonathan Foerster its first COO. Beth Housewert, senior director of play and learning, and Desiree Cuenca, director of marketing and engagement, will retain their titles and are now part of the executive team at the helm of the museum, which opened in 2012. The museum had $18.8 million in assets and $2.52 million in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, according to public tax documents.  

“CMON’s number one priority remains providing educational and developmental play and learning opportunities for the children of our community,” CMON Board Chair Jodie Montgomery says in a statement. “We are excited for the evolution of the nonprofit into its next chapter with leadership from experienced officers like Dena Rae.”

Hancock joined the organization in 2019, working in philanthropy and advancement, according to the statement. She was later named interim executive director and in August 2020 the interim tag was removed. Prior to joining CMON, Hancock was vice president of institutional advancement at Marian University in Indianapolis and director of campaign and major gifts for the Indianapolis Zoological Society.

Foerster, meanwhile, scheduled to begin his role Sept. 1, will work with Hancock to increase CMON’s capacity and impact in the greater Naples community, a separate release states. “We’re thrilled to welcome Jonathan to our executive leadership team,” Hancock says in the statement. “Bringing with him a wealth of experience working in the Southwest Florida community and in the nonprofit industry, he will be instrumental in helping CMON reach new heights as the organization moves into its tenth year.”

Foerster was most recently as director of community affairs at Humane Society Naples, where he led fundraising, marketing and communications, community outreach and volunteer efforts. His previous nonprofit work includes more than three years as communications director for Artis—Naples and four years as a board member of the United Arts Council of Collier County. Foerster served as a reporter and editor for the Naples Daily News and then Gulfshore Life magazine before moving into nonprofit management.

“I’m excited to be joining the team at CMON,” Foerster said. “This is an organization poised for tremendous growth and opportunity as we seek to provide children and families impactful and fun educational experiences that will help shape their future.”

The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples is Southwest Florida’s first museum devoted for children and families to learn through play. 




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