The Mariners Museum Announces New President and CEO

By MarEx 2013-01-30 16:20:00

The Mariners’ Museum has named Elliot Gruber as its new President and CEO.

Gruber comes to The Mariners’ following two high-profile assignments on the national stage. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President of Resource Development for the United Way of the National Capital Area. Prior to that, he was vice president and COO for the Gettysburg Foundation.

“The Museum is fortunate to secure a president with such a track record of success on a national level,” said John R. Lawson II, Chairman of The Mariners’ Museum’s Board of Trustees. “Elliot Gruber not only has a strong history of high-level donor relations, but also is the right person to harness our personnel resources, leading us along the path of a Museum that will remain relevant into the 21st Century.”

Gruber was selected following a months-long search that included Lawson and fellow Trustees John Casteen, Timothy Sullivan and Richard McCluney. The committee considered more than 200 applicants for the position last held by Dr. William B. Cogar, who left the Museum in late 2011.

During his time at the United Way, Gruber helped lead the organization to substantial revenue increases achieved by widening its donor base. In eight years at The Gettysburg Foundation, he helped raise more than $100 million to build the new Museum and Visitor Center in Gettysburg.

Gruber’s 30-year non-profit background also included a stint as president of the Civil War Preservation Trust. He has served in fundraising capacities at the National Parks Conservation Association, the Ocean Conservancy and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Gruber holds a B.A. in Psychology from Brandeis University, and an M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

Gruber assumes the Museum’s reins as it launches the first phase of a major initiative, the Family Exploration Gallery. On the strength of a grant from The Cabell Foundation in Richmond, the JASON Project Exploration Command Center will be built in space now occupied by the Chesapeake Bay Gallery. The JASON Project is an initiative created by famed ocean explorer Robert Ballard, and is an interactive exhibit providing students with real-time access to deep-ocean exploration.

In addition to the Family Exploration Gallery, planned to open in several phases, Gruber will also lead fundraising efforts for the continued support of the $30 million USS Monitor Center, which opened in 2007. The Monitor Center, which includes a large-scale exhibition and a laboratory complex, is in the midst of a decades-long process of conserving artifacts from the Civil War ironclad.

Gruber, who is married with two sons, begins his new role on February 4. He will live in Newport News.

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