Meet our Leadership Team

Elizabeth Pierce, Interim CEO
epierce@cincymuseum.org

I joined the efforts to support Cincinnati Museum Center in 2002 as a consultant and as a leadership volunteer. Throughout the years, I’ve worked on the 2004 operating levy campaign, several Duke Energy Children’s Museum parenting lectures and served on Museum Center's board of trustees. I officially joined the executive team in the fall of 2007, then leading our strategic communications, advertising and marketing. I am here because I love learning and, specifically, the ways in which museums connect us with real objects, stories and experiences to help us learn about the world and our role in it. I am a history geek influenced by a family with a passion for medicine and the natural world. This led me to pursue a BA in history from Miami University and a MA in museum administration from The George Washington University. Before arriving in Cincinnati, I was part of the team that established the Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier. I’ve been involved with special projects at the National Endowment for The Arts, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. My museum management and fundraising experiences were complemented by strategic communication roles at Dan Pinger Public Relations and UC Surgeons. I am a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati Class 32 and serve on the PR & Marketing Committee of the American Alliance of Museums. I volunteer with my children’s schools, serve on the LifeCenter Board of Trustees and have formerly been involved with Impact 100, Kindervelt, Spirit of Cincinnatus Advisory Board, Jostin Construction Advisory Board and the marketing committee of the MS Society.

Dave Duszynski, Vice President of Featured Experiences and Customer Services
dduszynski@cincymuseum.org

I came to the Museum of Natural History on Gilbert Avenue in 1985 as the Planetarium Director, just in time for Halley’s Comet. In 1990, along with the opening of Museum Center at Union Terminal, I assumed responsibility of the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater operations, and have been a consulting producer on many OMNIMAX® films during the past 20+ years. Currently, I am also responsible for customer service operations, retail operations, and for developing special exhibitions.

My degrees are in Astrophysics and Communications from Michigan State University. For me, working in a museum provides the ideal opportunity to spread knowledge about the wonders of culture, the wonders of science, and the wonders of the universe—and it keeps me learning, too.

Elizabeth "Lee" Simmons, Vice President of Philanthropy
lee@cincymuseum.org

I manage a team of 12 individuals who are charged with budget support through gifts, grants and special events, as well as Museum Center’s 800-strong volunteer base. As President of the Museum Center Foundation, I play a special role in strategic planning and managing our ambitious goals for endowment growth, capital project funding, and innovative strategies for increasing contributions for expanded programs and capital projects.

Prior to joining Museum Center, I spent nearly 18 years with Lee Hecht Harrison, Inc., a global leader in creating and delivering distinctive human capital solutions, where I served as Senior Vice President, Client Services and Regional Sales Director.

I serve or have served on numerous boards of trustees in the area, including the boards of the Cincinnati Ballet, Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Board of Overseers, Junior League, International Association of Career Management Professionals, Cincinnatus Association, and Leadership Cincinnati.

   

Jill Berkemeier, Vice President for Finance and Administration & Chief Financial Officer
jill@cincymuseum.org

As a Cincinnati native, I grew up in awe of Union Terminal and now am proud to say that I work here, in the Hall of Justice. As a finance professional with over 20 years of experience, I’m happy to bring that experience to Cincinnati Museum Center. For over seven years, I served in the top financial role with Global Novations, LLC. In that capacity, I successfully managed the completion and integration of three acquisitions which led to the exit strategy resulting in the acquisition of Global Novations by Korn/Ferry International. During this time, I implemented new systems and processes to form the backbone of the business while providing improved financial and operational data to improve results and facilitate growth. Throughout each acquisition, I integrated the business model from a finance and accounting perspective, as well as the operating business model which included human resources, legal, technology infrastructure and systems, pricing structure, business processes and related impacts to sales and client teams. Before Global Novations, I held the Director of Financial Analysis position at CBS Personnel where I focused on budgeting/forecasts and analysis, in addition to acquisitions integration and due diligence projects. Prior to CBS Personnel, I served as the Assistant Controller at Service America, Internal Auditor at the Chemed Corporation and Staff Accountant at VonLehman & Co. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Accountancy from Thomas More College. I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants.

   

Clarence G. "C.G." Newsome, Ph.D., President, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

I was named president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in August 2013. I currently serve as a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees. I am past president of Shaw University, and I previously served as dean of the School of Divinity at Howard University and as a member of the Duke Divinity School faculty. I have also served on several major committees of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and am a member and past president of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, a nationwide think tank of scholars engaged in studying the religious experience of African Americans. Known for my academic work in African American history and culture as well as  religious history, I oversaw the creation of a museum of religious art at Howard, acquiring more than $2.7 million in church artifacts and icons, with support from the Smithsonian Institution. I am a triple alumnus of Duke University, receiving a B.A. in religious studies in 1972, an M.Div. in 1975 and a Ph.D. in American religious history in 1982. While an undergraduate, I lettered in football and was the first African American scholarship athlete to graduate from Duke.