The Henderson Space and Science Center is taking steps to find a director of development whose job would focus on fundraising for the project.
The board is planning to enlist the expertise of John Gallagher, principal of Gallagher Associates, to find a director.
Gallagher was initially contracted by the board to come up with a capital campaign study and fundraising plan, which the board submitted to the Henderson City Council on Sept. 20, 2011.
Larry Carroll, a space and science center board member, said the search for a director of development would be nationwide and is expected to take two to three months.
“We are looking for a very specialized skill set,” Carroll said.
Carroll said the ideal candidate would not only be skilled at fundraising but also familiar with space and science centers.
At the June 26 Henderson Space and Science Center board meeting, members discussed the need to hire a director of development versus finding a new executive director.
The former executive director, Jack Clark, resigned in June.
“I think it is what’s best to help maintain a healthy relationship between the board and the city,” Clark said.
Clark was honored at the June 26 meeting.
“I think the board is in good shape to move forward,” he said. “The past year we’ve made a lot of progress.”
Clark said he doesn’t know what his future involvement with the board will be.
The board had initially counted on money from the city of Henderson, which had set aside $21 million from a public land fund to assist the space and science center in its efforts to build a facility. The center was expected to raise an additional $40 million.
The Henderson City Council voted March 20 to remove the funds allocated to the center. The city plans to use the money on other projects.
“We need to start raising money immediately,” Carroll said. “Maybe the person we hire (for the director of development) will have some of the same skill sets needed to run day-to-day operations. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking.”
Carroll said seeking a new executive director while the board hires a director of development isn’t out of the question.
One suggestion Gallagher has made is that the Henderson Space and Science Center should separate itself from the city of Henderson. He said people might be less inclined to donate to the center because of its affiliation with the city.
Carroll said it’s something the board will look at down the road.
“There is no timetable,” Carroll said.
The site for the center was originally proposed at U.S. Highway 95 and Galleria Drive and was expected to be within Union Village, a proposed health, residential, cultural and entertainment complex.
“That could still be a possibility,” Carroll said.
Carroll said discussions are still open to have the center in downtown Henderson and that board is looking to bring in traveling exhibits.
“We still want the pubic to know what we are about and what we are doing,” Carroll said. “We plan to still have exhibits.”
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Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 387-5201.