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Dan Wiznitzer
Himmelrich PR
(410)-528-5400
dan@himmelrich.com

Mark Potter Succeeds Van Reiner as Maryland Science Center President and CEO, Assumed Role in October after six years as Vice President of Development

Baltimore, Md – The Maryland Science Center Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Mark Potter as President and CEO upon the retirement of Van Reiner in October.

Mark Potter will assume his new role after six years as the Maryland Science Center’s Vice President of Development.

Potter brings extensive experience in education and nonprofit leadership to his new role, including 16 years as a teacher and administrator at Archbishop Curley High School and 11 years as Director of Development and Executive Director of the Basilica of the Assumption Historic Trust in Baltimore.

As Vice President of Development at the Maryland Science Center, Potter spearheaded the current capital campaign Revitalization for Today – Securing the Future! which to date has raised $5 million. His strategic development plan has resulted in a 30% increase in donors. Under Potter’s initiative, volunteers working at the Maryland Science Center have increased six-fold.

“When Van told us of his desire to retire after 13 years as President and CEO, the board created a search committee to identify his successor,” said David Amy, Chairman of the Maryland Science Center Board of Trustees. “After developing our criteria based on the needs, goals and aspirations of the institution, we realized that we had the ideal candidate already at the Maryland Science Center.”

During Van Reiner’s tenure, the Maryland Science Center expanded its role as a national leader in informal science education as he guided the institution through sustainability initiatives, expanded educational programming, upgraded and enhanced exhibits and visitor experiences, and increased community outreach.

The installation of environmentally friendly improvements, such as a green roof, solar arrays and pervious pavement, have made the Maryland Science Center’s Inner Harbor location a leader in renewable energy and Chesapeake Bay stewardship.

Under Reiner’s leadership, the Maryland Science Center has evolved its mission-driven, educational focus to highlight the science of everyday life, encouraging children and families to learn-by-doing at innovative new exhibits including Science & Main and The Shed D.I.Y. space.

Its role as the largest provider of informal science education in Maryland has expanded beyond the Inner Harbor facility; the Maryland Science Center’s “Ready, Set, Go Science” Head Start outreach program engages thousands of pre-k students each year and the Traveling Science Program reaches 60,000 students in all 24 Maryland jurisdictions. This past year, newly introduced Family Science Nights and Family Engineering Nights engaged children and their parents at schools and community centers in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

As a national leader, Reiner co-chaired the Public Policy Committee and sits on the Board of Directors of the Association of Science – Technology Centers, championing informal science education across the country and lobbying for more government funding.

“I’ve been fortunate to see the impact of informal science education for millions of children, as well as the generosity and recognition from across the state.” said Reiner. “I’m grateful that the Maryland Science Center will be led by Mark Potter, who clearly has a passion for our work.”

“The enthusiasm from our daily visitors – and corporate and philanthropic communities –  demonstrates to me what great possibilities there are for the future of the Maryland Science Center,” said Potter. The role of informal science education in encouraging STEM achievement in our youth will only grow in the coming years. Witnessing the hard work and dedication of Van Reiner, I’m humbled and excited to succeed him and lead this institution in such an exciting time.”

About the Maryland Science Center

Named one of Parents Magazine’s Top 10 Science Centers in America, the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore makes science understandable and fun for more than 500,000 visitors a year. The Maryland Science Center inspires, fascinates, motivates and engages children and adults with dozens of interactive exhibits, traveling exhibitions, original presentations in the world-famous Davis Planetarium, larger-than-life movies in the five-story St. John Properties IMAX Theater, and hundreds of hands-on programs delivered throughout the state each year.  For more information, visit www.marylandsciencecenter.org