Bill Finch

Executive Director

Bill joined Discovery Museum as Executive Director in January of 2018, after an extensive search. He also serves as a climate fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government where he is aiding in the expansion of the organization’s energy and environment portfolio. He also previously served as the acting Director of the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation where he played a key leadership role in the construction and launch of New York’s new Tappan Zee (“Mario Cuomo”) Bridge. He was Mayor of Connecticut’s largest city, Bridgeport, from 2007 until 2015. During his time as mayor, he led the charge for the city to increase access to Pre-K, open new schools with a focus on science and technology education, and increase the availability of high-quality afterschool programs for hundreds of kids. He also served as co-chair for the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Task Force. Bill grew up in the area and vividly remembers attending the Museum as a child. He also has frequently brought his own children here, and is excited to lead the team into an exciting new chapter.

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Tana Barnes

Business Operations Manager

Tana joined the Discovery Museum in April 2018, after a long tenure as an office manager at a local veterinary hospital. She is excited to be part of the Business Operations team and to help create many magical and educational events for patrons of all ages! She also oversees the coordination of volunteers who help out in every aspect of the museum. Tana has lived in CT for 20 years after moving from New York to attend college in Hartford.

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Helga Bowen

Finance Manager

Helga Bowen is the Finance Manager for Discovery and joined the Museum in 2015. Helga attended Boston University where she earned her business degree, majoring in Accounting and Finance. Her first work experience after college was with one of the Big 8 (now Big 4) world-wide accounting firms, in Washington DC. She passed her CPA exam soon after her move to DC. Helga worked as an accounting professional in various private industries including manufacturing, distribution, publishing, and retail. For the last 7 years, Helga has worked in the nonprofit world and says “there is no going back!”

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Jessica Campbell

Director of Finance

Jessica Campbell joined Discovery's Finance Department in November 2018. She is a CPA (state of Colorado) and CFA charter holder who started her career in Milwaukee, WI with a Big 5 accounting firm, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater with an accounting degree. She later moved to Denver, and eventually moved into the investment industry working for a large mutual fund firm. As an employee of that firm, she worked as a Finance Manager for several years before being promoted to Controller of their hedge fund subsidiary located in Rye, NY. While working in the investment industry, Jessica passed her Chartered Financial Analyst exams. After starting a growing family, Jessica started working in the non-profit industry where her roles have included Treasurer of the Junior League and Finance Manager for a local church.

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Erika Eng

Chief Operating Officer

After a successful 8+ year tenure in the Aerospace Industry as a Corporate Sales Executive, family life brought this native New Yorker to Connecticut to begin a new adventure. Erika is an alumni of a Museum Magnet program herself, and with a professional background in sales, marketing and public relations, and volunteer efforts focused on social responsibility and the sharing of resources, her role as Chief Operating Officer has been a natural culmination of life long experiences.

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Lyn Gabrielson

Guest Services Associate

Lyn Gabrielson, affectionately known as Miss Lyn, always knew working with children is her passion. Raising her family was her first priority, until she joined the YMCA family in 2000. She worked as their Child Watch Coordinator for almost 20 years. She joined the Discovery Museum to work seasonally in 2018 until they offered her a year-round position in Education and Guest Services in 2019. She’s thrilled to be starting a new chapter inspiring a love for STEM in everyone who visits.

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Michelle Lewis

Manager of STEM Learning Programs

Michelle started working with the museum as a part-timer, joining as a full time educator in 2016. Always willing to share her love of science with others, Michelle enjoys coming up with new demos and DIY activities for the museum. She will always try to use science as an excuse to try something new and exciting.

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Bailey Maxwell

Facilities and Exhibits Supervisor

Bailey Maxwell joined the Discovery Museum in 2014 as a parking attendant and has since assisted with everything from guest administration, exhibits, rentals management, and maintenance work. Bailey is now responsible for the care of all exhibits and upkeep of the Museum as a supervisor. She is excited to be a part of the Museum's growth and hopes to further its impact on the community. Bailey is also working toward returning to school to become a veterinary technician.

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Kelly Mennillo

Guest Services Associate

Kelly joined the museum in January 2018 as a birthday party host. While getting my Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees online, she was a stay at home mom. She started working in customer service at Discovery in July 2019.

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David Mestre

Director, Henry B. duPont III Planetarium

David Mestre joined the staff of the Discovery Museum in 2003, becoming the Director of the Henry B. duPont III Planetarium. He is also a Manager of STEM Learning Programs. With a background in astronomy and astrophysics from Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, David brings his passion for all things space in his work as educator, stargazer, and scientist.

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Elliot Severn

STEM Educator

Elliot Severn is an Educator for STEM Learning Programs at the Discovery Museum as well as a space and aviation photojournalist. He attended the Trumbull High School Agriscience program and Alfred University, earning a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. Since the end of the Space Shuttle program, he has documented NASA, military, and commercial space missions, specializing in remote launch photography. He also has a passion for amateur astronomy and enjoys building and flying radio controlled aircraft.

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Linda Smith

Membership Coordinator

In 2015, Linda began as a part-time front desk associate. She began keeping the files for museum memberships, and in 2016 officially earned her title of Membership coordinator. Since then, she has taken ownership of the membership process, and continues to share new ideas and make changes to better support our museum community. She also retains her spot at the front desk, where she manages the files and membership cards, and puts together all of the membership packets by hand for a personal touch.

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Laura Stern

Development Director

Laura Stern has worked at Discovery since 2016. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s degree from the Bard Graduate Center. As Development Director, Laura is thrilled to combine her professional background in project management, writing, and editing with her passionate support of educational opportunities for children.

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Sarah Tropp-Pacelli

Director of STEM Learning Programs

Sarah Tropp-Pacelli joined the Discovery team in 2015 after graduating from Brown University. She began as a science educator and now serves as Director of STEM Learning Programs. She holds a master's degree in education from Fairfield University. Sarah is thrilled to be a part of the Museum’s mission to inspire wonder in all visitors and create a community that is passionate about and literate in STEM.

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Jillian Wyckoff

STEM Education Associate

Jillian Wyckoff joined the Discovery Museum in late 2016, starting as a Per Diem STEM Educator. She studied Forensic Biology at University of New Haven, and is excited to bring her knowledge of science to STEM programs at the museum. She has always had an avid interest in space and astronomy, and the museum is a great place to be able to explore those interests and share them with the community. She hopes to inspire a love for science in everyone who visits the Museum.

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Board of Trustees

Tom Vos - Chair
Antonietta Cotton
Fred Feuerhake
Vance Hancock
Guy Hatfield
Camelia A. Lawrence
Pat Matteson
Jaime Moss
Jani Pallis
Robert A. Panza
Nick Roussas
Mary Servino
David M. Zieff

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Lifetime Trustees

Barbara Bodine
Jeffrey M. Clair
Mellie Cooper
Martha B. Gesswein
June Getraer
Bruce A. Hubler
Edward Lahey
Alice V. Meyer
Patrick J. Regan
Mrs. John Stokes
James Tice
William Wallace

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