Indiana State Museum And Historic Sites Adds Four to Team

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Brian Mancuso and Bethany Thomas Brian Mancuso and Bethany Thomas

The Indiana State Museum and Historic sites has named Brian Mancuso (pictured) vice president of experience. He has more than 15 years of experience with in-house museum exhibition teams. Mancuso most recently spent the past five years as director of exhibits at Conner Prairie. His work there included working on the team that created Treetop Outpost and on the team that received the AAM Excellence in Exhibition 2017 Special Achievement award for work in William Conner House. Prior to his time at Conner Prairie, Mancuso spent 10 years as director of exhibits at The Health Museum in Houston, Texas. He has a master’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a bachelor’s degree in museum studies and history from Baylor University. 

Bethany Thomas (pictured) has been appointed vice president of programs and education engagement. She has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofits, museums and informal education institutions. Thomas previously served at the Maker Youth Foundation and 1st Maker Space, and she has worked with the STEM Scouts program in Indianapolis. Prior to that, she was at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Illinois for 14 years, the St. Louis Science Center for five years and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for one and a half years. Thomas will be working with the education and programming teams at all 12 locations across the state. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from IUPUI.   

Jessi Klein has been named donor relations officer. She will focus on frontline fundraising efforts, where she will cultivate donor relationships and solicit major gifts throughout the museum and its 11 historic sites. Klein joins ISMHS from the Indiana University Foundation, where she focused on stewardship and scholarships. Prior to that, she worked at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music and focused on annual giving, board management and stewardship. Klein obtained her bachelor's degree in arts administration from Indiana University. 

Also, Stephanie Vowels has been appointed director of individual giving and stewardship. Her work at ISMHS will focus on increasing annual giving efforts, working with museum members and building strategic cultivation and stewardship programs. Vowels previously worked at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, where she served as the annual fund and donor relations manager. Prior to that, she worked as the development officer for the Fort Wayne Ballet. Vowels earned her bachelor's degree in arts administration from Butler University. 

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