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Executive director of shell museum steps down

By Staff | Aug 12, 2020

Executive Director Dorrie Hipschman

After seven years at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Executive Director Dorrie Hipschman has stepped down from her role to pursue other opportunities.

“We appreciate Dorrie’s commitment and service through the years,” Board President Holli Martin said on Aug. 7. “Under her leadership, the museum successfully completed a $6 million capital campaign to improve the museum’s facility and solidify a commitment to ocean conservation and education. The ground floor of the museum now features aquariums with live mollusks and cephalopods, including junonias and a giant Pacific octopus. On behalf of the board of trustees, I wish her well on her future endeavors.”

“It has been my great pleasure to direct the museum for the last seven years,” Hipschman said. “We have an amazing team of employees and have reinvented the museum into a vibrant, environmentally oriented natural history museum with an amazing live collection.”

The museum’s board of trustees has appointed Dr. Jos H. Leal, current science director and curator, as the interim executive director. He has been with the organization for 24 years. Leal is well-known and respected in the scientific community and has an in-depth knowledge of the museum. Among his many achievements was the museum’s 2010 accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums.

The board has begun the first steps in a national search for the next executive director.