| | Advanced Search

 

Paul Giorgio: Mr. Baker, MA Doesn’t Want a Liar for Governor—MA voters deserve a governor that will tell…

Central MA College Standout: Clark University’s Timothy Conley—Political Science major and track star

Organize + Energize: 4 Ways Getting Organized Will Save You Money—Stop wasting time and money

Patriots’ Day Patriots Primer—In Foxboro, the New England Patriots will begin…

Monfredo: Former Worcester Public School Member Publishes Book—A professional manual for students and professionals

QCC 50th, Celebrating Students: Ato Howard—A Biomedical Engineering student on the rise

MA Beauty Insider: Pedi Nation – Get the Best Pedicure Ever—A guide to finding a pristine pedi place

Fit for Life: Fail to Plan? Plan to Fail—Plan and prioritize, and you will prevail

7 Family Fun Activities for April Vacation—Keep you and the kids sane and entertained

Tom Finneran: Running on Envy—America's doctors run the gauntlet of envy

 
 

Leading in Central MA: Joe Cox, President of the EcoTarium

Monday, December 23, 2013

 

Joe Cox, President of Worcester's EcoTarium-- Leading Central Mass.

Joe Cox brings to the 188-year old EcoTarium, a unique blend of experience and passion in both environmental science and children’s enrichment. Most recently he served as founding executive director of the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, Florida. At Golisano, Joe was responsible for master planning, exhibit design and construction oversight. Under his leadership, the museum raised more than $26.5 million to open the 30,000 square foot building—the first of its kind in Southwest Florida. In its first five months, the museum welcomed over 100,000 visitors, surpassing all projections.

Previously, Joe served as nature center director for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, where he provided oversight of operations and management for the 14-acre nature center, including its award-winning environmental education programs.

Prior to that, he served as director of marketing for the Malta Ornithological Society (MOS). Founded in January 1962, MOS is the oldest environmental organization in Malta and is part of an international network dedicated to the efficient management of scientific bird ringing in Europe.

Joe is a graduate of St. Mary’s University, London, with a degree in environmental science, and he earned a master’s degree in museum studies from the University of Leicester. In addition, he completed a residency at the Getty Museum Leadership Institute and a fellowship in museum practice at the Smithsonian Institution.

A Conversation with Joe Cox

SW: Lets talk first about your career. How did your career begin and where?

JC: Perhaps the most pivotal experience was a random internship position. After a friend of mine had to pull out of a round-the-world (on a budget) trip to celebrate college graduation, I needed to find something to do. Fortunately, my Biology Professor persuaded me to head to Naples, Florida to take an internship at The Conservancy Nature Center and I found myself surrounded by mangroves, manatee and magnificent sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. That position not only brought me to the United States but solidified a love for informal education, and working in a museum setting.

SW: What led you to your current career path?

JC: Following my time at the Nature Center I was part of an incredible team that spent eight thrilling years raising $25 million to design a spectacular new museum. The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples was the brainchild of an incredible woman who turned the loss of her daughter into a museum where children and their families could play, learn and dream together. The community effort was amazing, and it was humbling as the Director to see families being inspired by the exhibits, the collections and the great team of volunteers and staff. Once the museum had opened, and was successful beyond our wildest expectations, I was ready for a new adventure - and was fortunate enough to be offered the position of President of the EcoTarium.

SW: Can you describe a day in your life?

JC: One of the joys of working at the EcoTarium is the incredible diversity - no two days are ever the same. Whether we are planning new exhibits or programs the visitor is always at the center of the conversation. Last summer we were packed to the rafters with visitors from all over New England and I overhead a young boy - perhaps seven years old - turn to a friend and say, “Dude, this place is like a playground for your mind!” I feel the same way. The EcoTarium is a playground for my mind - there are so many new opportunities to enhance this iconic Worcester institution that every day is mentally thrilling. We recently received a National Science Foundation grant – our second in the past 18 months - a significant achievement. This most recent grant will allow us to move forward on a fascinating new exhibit that will allow our visitors to explore a city in ways that they never thought possible. Each and every day I have the opportunity to work with our Trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters to inspire a passion for science and nature in each of our visitors. It’s truly invigorating!

SW: You are active in the community. What organizations are you involved with?

JC: For almost two hundred years the EcoTarium has been an integral part of life in Central Massachusetts. Since joining the team I’ve enjoyed serving on the Board of both the Worcester Cultural Coalition and Destination Worcester. Both of those Boards are made up of wonderfully collaborative professionals representing great organizations. Collaboration is truly one of the many things that makes Worcester special. The EcoTarium is teaming up with the Worcester Art Museum, Hanover Theater and the WOO Card program to provide all of our members with free WOO cards in 2014. Initiatives like that really do raise awareness of the multitude of cultural opportunities in our community.

SW: Who or what has had the greatest influence on your life?

JC: I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have wonderful, supportive parents who encouraged me to believe in myself and follow a career path that has brought me much happiness.

SW: Your favorite quote?

JC: In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” the Red Queen says to Alice, “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." I truly believe that in life you must have big, hairy, audacious goals. Believe in those things that might seem impossible and make them a reality.”

SW: What is the something that few p eo p le know about you?

JC: My immediate family currently lives on four continents - my Mum is in Europe, my Dad is in Africa, my brother in Asia and, of course, I’m here on North America.

SW: How do you spend your free time?

JC: I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my neighborhood. It’s great being able to walk to fantastic restaurants and shops, jog through parks, and become part of the community.

SW: What is your advice for helping the area to reach its full potential?

JC: I mentioned the collaborative spirit that is so pervasive in Worcester; that spirit carries through into all threads of city life from the dynamic educational facilities to the incredible generosity of our corporate supporters. The arts community brings a richness of culture to the mix that is exciting and pivotal to the ongoing growth of the area.

SW: Any special plans for your future?

JC: Having lived in New England for just over a year I feel as though I’ve barely scratched the surface of what is here to discover. I’m looking forward to exploring Worcester and beyond into Massachusetts and all of New England.

 

GoLocalWorcester presents Leading in Central MA, a weekly profile of an outstanding community or business leader. Join us every Monday for an inspiring look at the careers and lifestyles of Central Massachusetts’ most influential citizens.

Susan Wagner is the president of Susan Wagner PR. In this challenging economy, she has begun a new division to offer affordable start-up packages to new and emerging small businesses and non-profit organizations that include professional writing services, websites, collateral, marketing, social media, grassroots outreach and PR campaigns. If you have suggestions for a profile, please email susanwagnerpr@gmail.com.

 

Related Slideshow: 2013 Gift Guide: Local Gifts Under $25

Prev Next

Educational Toys

Are you looking for an educational gift for that special child on your list? You need not look any further than the line of educational toys manufactured by HapeInternational, a leading maker of high quality wooden and environmentally friendly toys. From their clever balance boat to their color flutter butterfly magnetic maze toy, Hape offers a variety of educational toys to suit your child’s needs.

Price: $24.99

Buy it from: Button Tree Kids, 1102 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA.

Prev Next

Artist Starter Kit

Do you have any budding artists on your Christmas list? Why not help nurture their gift by getting them Watercolor Button Blossoms Kit made by Faber-Castell. The kit includes five Art GRIP Watercolor Color Pencils, a black Multimark Pen to add details, six sheets of watercolor paper, and an assortment of buttons.

Price: $24.95

Buy it from: C.C. Lowell, 258 Park Avenue, Worcester, MA.

Prev Next

Vinyl Albums

Do you have a music fan on your list who prefers analog over digital? Well, you’re in luck because Joe’s Albums in Worcester offers an array of vinyls to satisfy even the most discerning music lover—many of which are priced starting at $5.50.

Price: $5.50 and up

Buy it from: Joe’s Albums, 1124 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

Photo: Flickr/The Seafarer

Prev Next

Pommes Frites Candles

Nothing says the holidays like the warm fragrance of a new candle. Handmade in California, Pommes Frites Candles come in a variety of scents that are sure please the senses.

Price: $20

Buy it from: Seed to Stem, 174 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, MA.

Prev Next

Comic Books

That’s Entertainment in Worcester offers a huge selection of new comic books ranging from mainstream titles to harder to find independent ones—with most starting under $5. Perhaps that special someone on your list wants a rare back issue. Well don’t worry because That’s Entertainment has those too.

Price: $3.99 and up

Buy it from: That’s Entertainment, 244 Park Avenue, Worcester, MA.

Photo: Flickr/Sam Howzit

Prev Next

Flowers

Buying flowers can often be an expensive ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be. Danielson Flowers offers a Poinsettia Christmas arrangement that looks beautiful and won’t break the bank.

Price: $25

Where to buy: Danielson Flowers, 660 Main Street Shrewsbury, MA.

Photo: Flickr/Marit & Tomas Hinnosaar

Prev Next

Organic Baby Toys

Organic living isn’t just about food anymore. Thanks to Dandelion, your child can enjoy the benefits of organic living this holiday season with a new organic plush toy. Machine washable and made FSC certified bamboo, Dandelion’s line of plush toys will ensure that that special child in your life has a fun and safe holiday season.

Price: $19.99 to $24.99

Buy it from: Wild Orchid Baby, 490 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, MA.

Prev Next

Boxed Chocolates

Who doesn’t like getting a box of chocolates for Christmas? Colonial Candies in Bolton offers a wide selection of boxed chocolates perfect for the holiday season. And what’s more, all of Colonial’s chocolates are handmade.

Price: $12.95 and up

Where to buy: Colonial Candies, 47 Sugar Road, Bolton, MA.

Prev Next

Anne Taintor Coasters

Liven up your holiday party with some humorous paper coasters with just the appropriate amount of irreverence. Each pack comes with six coasters - two per style.

Price: $5.50

Where to buy: Bhadon Gift Gallery, 1075 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA.

Prev Next

Handmade Ornaments

Make it a holiday that your family and friends will never forget by giving them a personalized ornament. Available through Rustic Craft of Fitchburg, these one-of-a-kind ornaments are carved from natural birch branch and can be customized to say whatever you wish.

Price: $14 to $18

Where to buy: rusticcraftdesigns.com

Prev Next

Handcrafted Candles

Based in Sturbridge, Mole Hollow Candles makes beautiful hand-dipped taper candles, hand-poured votive candles, beeswax candles, pillar candles, and much more.

Price: $22.95 and up (sold in bulk)

Where to buy: Mole Hollow Candles, 208 Charlton Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Prev Next

Personalized Chocolates

Based in Ashburnham, the Chocolate Canvas prints full color edible photos, logos and text onto delicious kosher certified milk and dark chocolate, or Belgian truffles. Not only are they delicious, but when they’re personalized, they’re unforgettable. Specialized chocolates are available for both Christmas and Chanukah.

Price: Starting at $0.99

Where to buy: thechocolatecanvas.com

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.




Write your comment...

You must be logged in to post comments.