The Dunes Learning Center in Chesterton has promoted Heather Hahn Sullivan to executive director. Sullivan, who most recently served as chief operating officer for the nonprofit, succeeds the retiring Geof Benson.
The Dunes Learning Center is the education partner of Indiana Dunes National Park. The center provides environmental education programs focusing on the ecology and history of the region.
Sullivan’s history with the center dates back to 1999 as a student at Valparaiso High School and later in 2004 as a naturalist intern. She returned to the nonprofit in 2018 as development and marketing director before being promoted to COO in June of this year.
The center says in her new role, Sullivan will oversee the development and implementation of a new strategic plan.
“With significant consideration given to the skills, experience and expertise needed to successfully guide Dunes Learning Center, the Board is confident that under Heather’s leadership, the organization will continue to flourish,” Board President Matthew Benus said in written remarks. “Heather’s background in environmental nonprofits as well as her experience with the organization’s partners and funders over the last four years make her uniquely qualified for the role of Executive Director.”
Prior to joining the center, Sullivan spent more than 16 years with several environmental organizations, including the Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, and Cincinnati Nature Center.
She is also the current president of the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.