Discovery Depot director stepping down

Cecil-Monari heads for a job with 'focus'

Thursday, January 11, 2007

GALESBURG - The executive director of Discovery Depot Children's Museum has resigned as the non-profit organization's only full-time employee after three years on the job.

Jamie Cecil-Monari of Elmwood is leaving her post at the six-year-old museum at Chambers and Mulberry streets to be a public relations and media specialist for Catholic Charities in Peoria. In addition to the full-time executive director, the museum is staffed by five part-time employees and a number of volunteers.

"I was looking for a position where I could focus on one area within a non-profit rather than being in charge of every single aspect," said Cecil-Monari, who previously was a caseworker for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Knox County and community services coordinator for the Knox County Juvenile Justice Council.

Cecil-Monari's last day will be Jan. 23. The museum's board of directors is expected to discuss the transition period and hiring process at its regular meeting Monday.

The museum recently submitted a $167,000 tax increment financing district proposal to the Galesburg City Council. The funds would be used to buy an adjacent building, tear it down and build a parking lot in its place.

"If the museum does receive those funds, it will greatly enhance the museum and therefore increase attendance and admission dollars," said Cecil-Monari.

The City Council has not made a decision on the proposal, but Cecil-Monari said she doesn't see her departure affecting the process.

"All the board members have been involved with the TIF proposal," she said.

Opening new exhibits, increasing attendance and generating new sources of funding were the high points of Cecil-Monari's time at the museum, she said.

"Those accomplishments are not only mine," Cecil-Monari said, citing the work of the museum's board of directors, volunteers and other employees.

Cecil-Monari said she believes funding will continue to be a challenge for the museum.

"It's more difficult for non-profits to receive grants so we are out in the community asking individuals to donate more often," she said.

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