Kevin Carter, a senior executive in museum and non-profit organization management, has been selected to be the new Executive Director of Teatown Lake Reservation. Confirmation of his selection was made recently by Teatown Board Chair Naomi Marrow.
Carter, a resident of Bethel, Connecticut, brings to Teatown broad experience in science and children’s museums, including the California Science Center, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and, most recently, Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT, where he has served as Chief Operating Officer for six years.
Carter led a team at Stepping Stones that created a semi-permanent exhibit, "Energy!", along with a complimentary national touring exhibit on energy conservation, further supported by mini-exhibits that have traveled to regional schools and reached hundreds of thousands of children with key conservation messages.
“I have always considered myself a lifelong learner,” explains Carter. “And I want to share my passion for learning, and my love and experience with nature, science and the environment with others. The opportunity to do this at Teatown, and to do it in effective and creative ways, fits my goals and I hope fits well with an exceptional and respected institution like Teatown.”
Additionally, Carter noted, he hopes to make the Teatown experience, for members, hikers, visitors to its Nature Center, and participants in its various programs, among the best an organization of this size can deliver. Also, he expects to build on collaborative efforts of Teatown, which to date have included, among others, working relationships with Westchester County, the Westchester Land Trust, the Jacob Burns Film Center, the Open Space Institute, and the NY-NJ Trails Conference.
Carter will start as Executive Director on August 31. He succeeds Dr. Fred Koontz, who left last year to become Vice President of Field Conservation with the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA. Carter will be the sixth executive director of Teatown in its nearly 50 years, and was selected from among nearly 250 applicants who responded to an exhaustive national search.
“We have been searching for someone who can effectively build on Teatown’s core strengths and further enhance delivery of superb environmental education programming and regional conservation efforts and make Teatown a preeminent nature experience site and model,” said Marrow. “Carter’s proven ability to translate scientific concepts into understandable, appealing, and engaging information and education experiences will complement Teatown’s efforts well.”
Over the past 18 months, Teatown has been led by Interim Executive Director and Operations Director Dianne Barron. She will continue as Operations Director. Teatown’s scientific and stewardship initiatives are directed by Dr. Mike Rubbo, the Daniel Kampel Director of Conservation Science. Teatown’s educational initiatives are run by Phyllis Bock, Director of Education. Teatown’s various efforts, programs and events are conducted by a staff of 14, and supported by over 350 volunteers.
Carter’s initial entry to the museum world came from his work in IMAX film production and exhibition. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema/Television, and is keenly aware of the importance of technology and new media in connecting with, and outreach to, the various support and learning constituencies of not-for-profit organizations.
Carter, 43 years old, is married to Emily Tompkins Carter and they have two children.
Teatown Lake Reservation today encompasses just under 900 acres of field, forest, lakes, ponds and trails that represent a major island of open space in the midst of what is otherwise an increasingly densely populated area. Over nearly fifty years, Teatown has benefited from a series of far-sighted gifts of land, conservation easements and purchases. Through the generosity of past donors, and growing support of members, individuals, corporations and businesses, and government grants, Teatown today offers what some call one of the region’s natural gems, providing beauty and peace with educational and recreational programming for people of all ages, as well as educational programs and scientific research for community leaders, organizations and local governments. More information about Teatown is at www.teatown.org.