A local museum has reached into one of Richmond’s biggest companies to find its new leader.
The Children’s Museum of Richmond on Monday named Dominion Resources executive Shannon Venable as its next president and CEO.
The decision comes after a year-long national search following the resignation of former CEO Karen Coltrane, who left in late 2014 for a position at the EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia, South Carolina.
“We had a number of great candidates come up, a number who were very interested, and in whom we were interested, but along the way it didn’t work out,” said Greg Robertson, chair of the museum’s board of trustees. “Fortunately, patience is a virtue, and we wound up getting someone who is going to be terrific for us.”
Venable, 55, has worked with Dominion for almost 34 years and is currently vice president of staffing and diversity. The Michigan native will leave her position at Dominion at the end of January and begin with the museum on Feb. 1.
Venable said her move to CMOR is part of a lifelong passion in helping children and early childhood development.
“I’m an engineer by degree, but I looked into going into teaching when I was in college. I’ve always had a passion for children,” she said.
In addition to working with the energy giant, Venable serves on the boards of Smart Beginnings RVA, the Women’s Educational Organization and the United Way. She was also involved with the lieutenant governor’s Commonwealth Committee for Childhood Success.
Since Coltrane’s departure from CMOR, her position has been filled in the interim by COO Lisa Wingfield Hailey, who will resume her previous post once Venable steps in.
Katherine Whitney of consulting firm Warren Whitney helped CMOR in its national search, and the board of trustees made the final selection on the new leader. Robertson said well over 50 individuals either submitted applications or engaged in the process with the search firm.
CMOR was founded in 1981 and is aimed at providing an educational experience for children. Its central location is at 2626 W. Broad St. and it has expanded in recent years with satellite branches in Short Pump, Midlothian and Fredericksburg.
According to its most recent tax filings, provided by GuideStar.com, CMOR drew in about $4.2 million in revenue in 2013 and had $3.9 million in expenses.