WHITING - As finishing touches are underway on the Mascot Hall of Fame an executive director and full-time staff have been hired. Orestes Hernandez will serve as executive director of the Whiting-based museum. Hernandez formerly was vice president of business development at the Coral Gables Museum near Miami. He also worked over 15 years with the Miami Marlins and the PGA Tour. 

“I'm very honored to join Mayor Joe and the City of Whiting Team to lead our efforts at the Mascot Hall of Fame,” says Executive Director, Orestes Hernandez. “I look forward to having the thousands of students and families in the surrounding communities and across the country visit to experience hands-on S.T.E.A.M. learning with our inaugural interactive exhibits, while also highlighting the important role professional and collegiate mascots play in our society,” explains Hernandez. 

Former executive director Al Spajer, who served in that role since 2015, will now serve as director of community engagement for the museum. Four full-time staff, including an operations manager, have been hired to round out the staff. Former longtime City of Whiting employee Ann Canning will be the museum's operations manager. Other staff hired include an office manager and two events team members. 

The museum is set to open on December 26. Click here to learn more about the museum.