U.S. Marshals Museum board hires new president and CEO, Dunn moves to fundraising role

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 403 views 

Previous artist rendering of U.S. Marshals Museum look. It is unclear how much the look may change once architects revise plans to fit a new site plan.

Patrick Weeks has been hired as the next president and CEO of the U.S. Marshals Museum, and he will begin in the job on July. The move was approved Tuesday (June 14) by the museum’s Board of Directors.

Jim Dunn, now the museum’s president and CEO, will now focus on fundraising. Weeks was offered the position following a national search for a recognized museum professional who could lead the project through design, construction and opening. A museum statement said Dunn will work with Weeks for 90 days on the transition. His starting salary is $150,000.

“We are extremely pleased to offer the job of president and CEO to Patrick Weeks,” Judge Jim Spears, chairman of the museum’s board of directors, said in a statement. “He has the vision, leadership and experience needed to build on Jim Dunn’s success and guide the museum through this important stage of development and beyond.”

Doug Babb, the museum board member who conducted the search, said their was a pool of “just a few hundred” nationwide that had the fundraising background and construction background needed to open a museum.

“That’s the experience he has,” Babb told the board, adding later that Weeks recognized the job as a unique “opportunity of a lifetime for him to show what he can do at a national museum.”

In January 2007, the U.S. Marshals Service selected Fort Smith as the site for the estimated 50,000-square-foot national museum. The museum is to be built on 15.9 acres along the Arkansas River that is being donated by the Robbie Westphal family.

Patrick Weeks, incoming president and CEO of the U.S. Marshals Museum
Patrick Weeks, incoming president and CEO of the U.S. Marshals Museum

Fundraising efforts will continue for the $55 million project with architect discussions underway and a planned opening sometime in 2018.

At the end of 2015, the museum reported $26.52 million “committed,” with $31.738 million to complete the facility, based on a total campaign cost of $55.529 million. The total campaign cost includes $4 million for an endowment and $2.977 million for “contingencies.”

Weeks, 47, has more than two decades of experience in the creation and operations of guest experiences, environments and programming for museums, science centers and theme parks. He is the current principal of Strategic Experience Solutions, which focuses on project planning; implementation and oversight; growth and development of operations; annual budgets; and guest experiences.

“Patrick has played an integral role in the design, construction and exhibit creation of several national entities,” Robert Young, chairman of the museum’s foundation, said in the statement. “At the Arizona Science Center, he fostered relationships with corporate sponsors, individual donors and municipal government entities to complete a $24.5 million capital reinvestment project. I’m confident he and Jim Dunn will do the same for the U.S. Marshals Museum to bring this project over the finish line.”

Prior to Strategic Experience Solutions, Weeks served as vice president of Roto, a design and production firm specializing in experiences for museums and entertainment venues. There, he oversaw the development and creation of a multi-million dollar gallery project for a large science museum. He also served as vice president of operations and guest experiences for the Arizona Science Center.

According to Dunn, the building will be the single biggest component of the project cost. Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects and Cambridge Seven Associates are in the process of revising the museum’s schematic design. Once this phase is complete, the architects and CDI Contractors, the construction consultant, will provide an updated cost for construction. The current $22.5 million cost estimate is from 2009. The museum is expected to open in 2018.

“I’m excited to join the U.S. Marshals Museum and bring to life the stories of the U.S. Marshals Service,” Weeks said in his statement. “I look forward to building on the foundation that is already in place and moving the project through completion and opening. It’s an honor to be part of the creation of a National Learning Center, which will tell the U.S. Marshals Service’s story of honor, justice and integrity.”

Talk Business & Politics will update this story later today.

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