Michelle Urbanczyk will take the reins as chief executive officer at Explore & More Children's Museum in mid-February.
It's a position she didn't apply for, but found returning to a museum setting too appealing to turn down. The museum is slated to open at the end of the year at Canalside.
"There are so many positive things that Explore & More Children's Museum can do for the community," Urbanczyk said. "I can't help but be excited about it."
For the past three years, Urbanczyk was president of Every Person Influences Children (EPIC). Before that she was director of development with the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences.
In all, Urbanczyk has over 20 years of fundraising, programming, strategic planning, financial oversight and project/business management experience.
“Michelle’s experience as the president of EPIC, as well as her work with the Buffalo Science Museum and other not-for-profit community and educational organizations, makes her the perfect candidate for Explore & More today and well into the future,” vice chairwoman Tina Zinter-Chahin said.
Urbanczyk, a Niagara Falls native who lives in West Seneca, earned an MBA and bachelor's degrees from SUNY Oswego. She was a Leadership Buffalo Class of 2011 graduate.
She said she is excited about exposing children from all economic backgrounds to science in an out-of-school environment, and adding to the region's economic development.
"I'm known for being collaborative," Urbanczyk said. "I see this as a chance to work with other organizations, especially those that work with families to provide enrichment and fun learning opportunities."
Urbanczyk said she and the community as a whole have big expectations for the four-story museum when it opens — and she plans to do everything she can to meet them.
"What's scaring all of us is that we've been talking about this project for about six years," she said. "I'm expecting something spectacular, and so is the community, and they deserve it."