Port Discovery Children’s Museum President & CEO Bryn Parchman to Retire After More Than Two Decades of Distinguished Service to Children, Families & The Museum
Museum’s Board to Launch Search for Next President/CEO
For Immediate Release
Baltimore, MD – July 16, 2021 – Port Discovery Children’s Museum today announced that following more than 23 years serving Port Discovery Children’s Museum and the children and families of Maryland, President and CEO Bryn Parchman will be stepping down from her position this fall.
A transition committee led by Port Discovery’s Board of Directors will immediately begin the process of searching for a new CEO.
Through roles including Vice President of Marketing, Chief Operating Officer, and then President and CEO for 18 years, Ms. Parchman has positioned Port Discovery as one of the top Children’s Museums in the United States, serving hundreds of thousands of children through programs in the Museum, in classrooms, and in the community each year.
Parchman’s vision and leadership have led to the creation of state-of-the-art interactive educational exhibits, fun and educational early learning programs, outreach programs that take Port Discovery’s programs and exhibits into communities throughout the state, and access programs that ensure that all children, especially those from under-resourced communities, have the opportunity to benefit from child-driven playful learning both in the Museum and throughout Maryland. Access and programs for military and special needs families has also been a priority during her tenure.
In the last several years, Ms. Parchman has led Port Discovery’s work to serve the next generation of doers, thinkers, dreamers and leaders, including the completion of a $10.5 Million Capital Campaign, the construction and opening of state-of-the-art and transformative new exhibits; the opening of the Museum’s first temporary satellite location; and new initiatives to serve children and families through in-person and virtual programs throughout the recent COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Parchman recently led Port Discovery’s launch of their new PlayMakers access program, designed to make play and learning accessible for more children and families by eliminating cost as a barrier to visiting.
Under Parchman’s direction, the Museum has garnered national recognition through programs including Harvard’s Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative, and has positioned itself as a community resource and thought leader through partnerships with major universities, hospitals, and nonprofits, including The University of Maryland, Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Harriet Lane Pediatric Clinic at Johns Hopkins, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and the Center for Urban Families.
“The impact of Bryn’s passion and dedication for community service, for play and learning, and for the children and families of Maryland has been tremendous – not only at the Museum, but throughout the communities we serve,” said Dennis Rasmussen, Chairman of the Port Discovery Board of Directors. “Bryn’s leadership and vision have led Port Discovery to be one of the top Children’s Museums in the country, and positioned us to continue that trajectory as the Museum moves forward.”
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the journey of Port Discovery – from opening the doors to where we are today. Surrounded by an amazing team of co-workers, board and other volunteers, it’s been simply, an honor. The Museum is well-positioned for its next chapter and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
In addition to supporting play and learning through her work at Port Discovery Children’s Museum, Ms. Parchman has been an active advocate for arts, culture and education. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (“LIRS”) and is a member of their President’s Advisory Council. She has previously served in leadership positions on the Boards of Directors for The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), Roland Park Country School (RPCS) and the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM). Ms. Parchman is also a member of Executive Alliance, Maryland’s leading business women’s network and has served as an Advisory Board and Panel Member for the Institute for a Healthiest Maryland, Visit Baltimore and Athena Power Link among other organizations.
Bryn has been recognized as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record, was inducted into Smart CEO’s Brava! Hall of Fame, named an Enterprising Woman by The Baltimore Business Journal, inducted into The Daily Record’s Circle of Excellence for Sustained Achievement, and named among the Most Admired CEOs by The Daily Record.
Bryn, and her husband also raised three children, now adults, who had the joy of many frequent visits to Port Discovery.
About Port Discovery Children’s Museum
As the premier children’s museum in the mid-Atlantic, Port Discovery Children’s Museum educates children and inspires life-long curiosity. Our play-to-learn philosophy opens the door for children to discover and explore the world around them and to lead smarter, healthier, more engaged lives. The Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, offers 3 floors of educational, interactive exhibits and programs and is ranked among the Top Children’s Museums in the United States. To learn more, visit www.portdiscovery.org.
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