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Cincinnati Museum Center adds new board members, elects Susan Esler board chair

Beverly A. Grant, Bill Mulvihill, Jr. and Dr. Whitney Gaskins join board

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center hosted its annual meeting of its Board of Trustees today, welcoming three new members. Susan B. Esler takes on the mantle of board chair, following the Honorable Jeffery P. Hopkins who has served in this role since 2018.

Esler has served on the CMC Board of Trustees since 2009 and brings several decades of HR experience to her role as board chair, including roles with PepsiCo, Mercer, Dow Chemical and Ashland Inc., where she retired as Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer. With Ashland Inc., she led global human resources for the company, including talent development, compensation and benefits, labor and employee relations, corporate communications and public and community relations. In addition to CMC’s Board of Trustees, Esler serves on the boards of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. She’s also a member of the Economics Advisory Board of the Farmer School of Business at Miami University.

Esler follows outgoing chair Judge Hopkins, who joined the board in 2012 and was elected chair in 2018, matching former chair Francie Hiltz as longest serving board chair in the museum’s history. Judge Hopkins has nearly 40 years of experience as a judge and an attorney. He currently serves as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Ohio, a post he was first appointed to in 1996 and reappointed in 2010. Previously, Judge Hopkins has held roles as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, becoming chief of the Civil Division for the Southern District of Ohio, and he’s served on several bar-related committees and boards, including the Judicial Conference of the United States and National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.

“Susan brings invaluable experience as we focus on the future of Cincinnati Museum Center. She has been instrumental in helping us work through the past two years of uncertainty in a way that focused on financial stability and staff development and wellbeing,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president & CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “We’re grateful for Judge Hopkins’s leadership as our chair, providing thoughtful and clear guidance during the time of Union Terminal’s historic restoration, a new period of growth and through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Hopkins will continue to be a leader for the organization serving in the past-chair role and as a trustee of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Joining CMC’s Board are Beverly Grant, Whitney Gaskins, Ph.D. and Bill Mulvihill, Jr. Grant is the immediate past chair of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Board of Directors. She spent over 26 years at Procter & Gamble in key sales and management positions before joining the market research firm IRI as a senior advisor. She is the founder of Beverly A. Grant Consulting, LLC, and serves on the boards of Mercy Hospital and the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center and is a committee member on key initiatives with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness and the American Heart Association.

Mulvihill brings over 18 years of experience in the financial services industry to CMC’s board. He is currently Managing Director Loan Capital Markets and Head of U.S. Bank’s Sports Finance Group. He has previously been recognized as one of Sports Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and in 2019 was honored with the University of Cincinnati Jeffery Hurwitz Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.

Dr. Gaskins is currently the Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement in the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. She serves as the Principal Investigator for both the Choose Ohio First Program and Ohio LSAMP grants, which provide scholarship funding and professional development workshops that help students prepare to enter the STEM workforce. In 2009, she founded The Gaskins Foundation which aims to educate and empower the Black community, including through its free Cincinnati STEMulates program that introduces more students to math and science. Dr. Gaskins is the recipient of several accolades, including being recognized as a 40 Under 40, a Black History Maker by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber in 2019 and a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement in 2021, as well as several teaching honors.

“We’re proud of the expertise, talent and passion embodied by each member of our Board of Trustees,” said Pierce. “Our new trustees strengthen a group that is focused on helping us achieve a bold strategic vision, and their addition will lead to even more exciting things for our guests, Members and community to enjoy from Cincinnati Museum Center.”

During the meeting, CMC also recognized several Board members reaching the end of board terms, including former chair Ed Diller, Peter Horton, Cynthia Walker Kenny, Marty Mooney, Phillip Long and Mary Zalla.

“I cannot thank our departing trustees enough for their contributions to our organization,” added Pierce. “They have led us through the historic restoration of Union Terminal, the planning and redesign of our museum experience, the highest annual attendance in our museum’s history and so many other experiences that have become cherished memories for millions. We are grateful that they will always be advocates for the mission and impact of Cincinnati Museum Center.”


About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized, award-winning institution housed in a National Historic Landmark. CMC is a vital community resource that sparks curiosity, inspiration, epiphany and dialogue. CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012, one of a select few museums in the nation to receive both honors. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Children’s Museum, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, Cincinnati History Library and Archives and the Geier Collections and Research Center. Housed in historic Union Terminal – a National Historic Landmark restored in 2018 and recognized as the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects – CMC welcomes more than 1.8 million visits annually, making it one of the most visited museums in the country. For more information, visit

About Champion More Curiosity
The $85 million Champion More Curiosity campaign is shaping Cincinnati Museum Center’s future while creating generations of critical thinkers to power the innovation of our region. By Championing More Curiosity and helping build the future of Cincinnati Museum Center, you can fuel the economic prosperity of our region. Champion More Curiosity will build or reimagine over a dozen permanent exhibits and galleries and equip state-of-the-art labs for cutting-edge research for students from elementary grades to post-docs. Today’s wide-eyed explorers will be tomorrow’s innovators. We work shoulder-to-shoulder to engage our community in monumental moments of epiphany, wonder and connection. As we inspire all generations to learn, grow and thrive at Cincinnati Museum Center, we Champion More Curiosity. Consider making a lifelong impact by donating in support of Championing More Curiosity at