New Hanover County announces new Cape Fear Museum Director

Posted June 16, 2021 at 1:11 pm     Category: Cape Fear MuseumNews Release

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County has selected Wayne LaBar to serve as the new director of the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, following the retirement of current Museum Director Sheryl Mays.

“Sheryl Mays is retiring after seven years of leading the Cape Fear Museum and raising its profile as an important destination and resource for science and history in our region,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “She is leaving the museum in a great position to continue its growth and I look forward to seeing how our new director, Wayne LaBar, advances that good work. He comes with a wealth of experience as a museum leader and strategy consultant, and has an innovative vision that I believe will help propel our museum forward.”

LaBar has more than 30 years of experience in museum leadership, science center planning, and exhibition design, development, and implementation. He is currently an international design consultant based in Roseville, CA, providing strategic thought leadership for museums and other learning environments across the world, and has previously served as executive director of The Sacramento Powerhouse Science Center as well as The Powerhouse Science Center | MakerLab in Durango CO. He also founded and led ALCHEMY studio, a consultancy firm for strategic planning, partnerships, design and product development, and served as vice president of Liberty Science Center.

LaBar holds a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and is a graduate of The Getty Institute’s Museum Leadership Institute and “To Be A Director” Program.

“I look forward to moving to Wilmington and joining the county and Cape Fear Museum in this role,” said LaBar. “I have already heard what a creative, collaborative, and successful team the museum has, and I look forward to working with them to advance the museum’s unique blend of focusing on the region’s history, science and cultures. I have a deep interest in both history and science and its application to understanding our current and future decisions, and I have a passion for creating experiences that are accessible, relevant, and welcoming for all.”

Mays’ last day with the county is June 25, and LaBar will begin as director on July 13.




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