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Growth & New Board Chair for Children’s Museum

(PHOTO: The Westchester Children's Museum on the Playland boardwalk.)
(PHOTO: The Westchester Children’s Museum on the Playland boardwalk.)

The Westchester Children’s Museum elected longtime board member Marvin N. Campbell to chair the Board of Directors. Marvin succeeds Carolyn Carr Spencer, who held the position of chair for ten years and now assumes the role of treasurer. Katie Vernace was elected to the position of vice chair.

(PHOTO: The Westchester Children’s Museum elected longtime board member Marvin N. Campbell tas chairman.)
(PHOTO: The Westchester Children’s Museum elected longtime board member Marvin N. Campbell tas chairman.)

Campbell, senior vice president & chief business development counsel at Synchrony Financial, has served as a board member of the Museum for over ten years. He initially became involved with the Museum to honor the legacy of his beloved wife Dr. Mary Grantham Campbell. Dr. Campbell passed away in 2005 and was one of the founding visionaries of the Museum. In the years since he joined the Board, Campbell has been an active member of the Executive and Nominations Committee and the 2023 Search Committee that hired Thomas Sullivan, the current executive director. A resident of New Rochelle, Campbell is also an accomplished artist, working in a variety of mediums.

“My wife Mary worked tirelessly on the creation of the Westchester Children’s Museum in the early days when it was just a dream folks talked about around kitchen tables in Westchester. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of so many, that dream is a beautiful reality. I am proud to take the baton as chair of a committed, passionate board and excited to take this journey into our next chapter.”

Under the leadership of Executive Director Thomas Sullivan, the number of memberships has tripled, and annual visitation increased to 79,000 – more than any year since the Museum opened in 2016. In the month of January 2024, the Museum welcomed almost 12,000 visitors, compared to just 1,000 in January 2023, a 12-fold increase. Additionally, the Museum has a new professional staff, 14 new hands-on exhibits, drop-in programming twice a day, and monthly Big Weekend events.

During the tenure of outgoing Chair Carolyn Carr Spencer, the Museum raised funds to design and complete a major 15,000 square foot expansion and restoration of its historic building, operated successfully through COVID with a skeleton staff and virtual programming, and led a national search for the new executive director hired in fall 2022.

“Being president of the Westchester Children’s Museum is a privilege that has afforded me the opportunity to help shape the future of young minds,” said Carr Spencer. “I have been immensely proud of our ongoing efforts, particularly the initiation of our Family Access membership, aimed at dismantling barriers to accessibility. Looking ahead, I’m eager to leverage my new role as treasurer of the Westchester Children’s Museum to support incoming president Marvin Campbell, Executive Director Thomas Sullivan and the entire board in our mission.”

The current Board of Directors of the Museum consists of 13 members from across the region.

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