Mike Yankovich, President and CEO
Start Date: 2010
Mike Yankovich was unanimously chosen in May 2010 as the Museum's newest president. With nearly 20 years in the museum field, including time with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Port Discovery Children's Museum in Baltimore, he is a natural fit for this cornerstone position. Mike joined the Children's Museum in 2003 and has served in a number of capacities including Director of Education, Vice President of Guest Experience, Chief Operating Officer and, most recently, Interim President. In each position he has been a significant catalyst for growth and innovation. His focus on developing high-quality, interactive exhibits and educational programs has helped position the Museum as the community's leading informal learning institution for young children. In May 2011, Mike was selected as one of five Livingston Fellows, a prestigious Bonfils-Stanton Foundation effort to develop the skills of promising nonprofit leaders. In addition, Mike chairs the board of the Denver Preschool Program and serves as a vice president on the board of the Association of Children's Museums. Mike has also benefited from additional on-the-job experience as he and his wife, Jennifer, have enjoyed playing and learning with their 8-year-old daughter, Holly.
Gretchen Kerr, Chief Operating Officer
Start Date: 1998
Gretchen Kerr became Chief Operating Officer in July 2010 after serving as the Vice President of Development. A member of the staff since 1998, she oversees education, guest services, fundraising and marketing. Previously, Gretchen directed the Museum's fundraising efforts, helping to raise more than $7 million for exhibits and programming. Before joining the Museum, she worked for the American Cancer Society and the American Red Cross. Gretchen is a graduate of Leadership Denver, a program of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. She serves on the board of the Young Philanthropist Foundation, which is dedicated to engaging youth in philanthropy by creating opportunities through which they can give back to their communities. Gretchen also serves on the national conference planning committee for the Association of Children's Museums.
Cyndi Kerins, Chief Financial Officer
Start Date: 2008
Cyndi Kerins joined the Museum team in February 2008. She brings nearly 30 years of increasingly progressive, hands-on, accounting and management experience. Cyndi was formerly Controller for Thistle Community Housing and was Vice President of Finance for Denver Community Development Corporation. She is a detail-oriented, seasoned professional with a master's degree in accountancy and expertise in accounting systems development, financial reporting, audit/grant compliance and multi-entity, multi-tiered consolidations.
Amy Burt, Vice President of Development and Communications
Start Date: 2005
Amy Burt joined the development team at the Children's Museum of Denver in August 2005. With a career that began in 1992 at the Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross, Amy brings both non-profit and for-profit marketing, communications and fundraising experience to the organization. Previously managing the Museum's grants program and marketing department, she took on the role of vice president of development and communications in August 2010, adding individual giving, corporate sponsorships and special events to her management responsibilities. Amy has a degree in journalism from Texas Tech University, is a graduate of the 2010 Emerging Leaders in Development program and serves as Grants Chair for Amigos de la Academia Sandoval.
Sarah Brenkert, Senior Director of Education and Evaluation
Start Date: 2010
Joining the Museum in September 2010 as Senior Director of Education and Evaluation, Sarah Brenkert brings a strong background in child development, informal learning, and experiential education approaches. She serves on the board of directors of the Denver Early Childhood Council, and is a member of the National and Colorado Associations of Young Children, and the Denver Evaluation Network. Previously, Sarah led the teacher professional development program at Denver Zoo, and mentored pre-service teachers in the Early Childhood Education program at Red Rocks Community College. Sarah spent eight years as a classroom teacher working with exceptional and typically developing young children in early childhood environments. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Carleton College in Minnesota and a master's in education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City.
Jon Handwork, Senior Director of Guest Services and Facilities
Start Date: 2006
Jon Handwork joined the Children's Museum team in December 2006 following five years as the Manager of Volunteer Services for Temporary Exhibits at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. As Senior Director of Guest Services and Facilities, Jon provides leadership and oversight to facility maintenance, volunteer services, as well as all front-line and retail operations including admissions and guest relations. He serves on the LoDo District Board and serves as alternate member of the Scientific and Cultural Collaborative, which connects nonprofits in metro Denver. Jon has a bachelor's of science degree in visual communications technology from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction