Aquarium Announces New President

August 13, 2009

The Oregon Coast Aquarium announces the appointment of Gary Gamer as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Gamer, who currently resides in Eugene, Oregon, will begin his new position September 8. Gamer brings approximately 25 years of leadership experience with statewide, national and international nonprofit organizations.  This includes serving as President and CEO of Holt International Children's Services, based in Eugene, Oregon.   He has lived and worked also in Portland, New York City and in a number of countries outside of the United States.

“I am thrilled to be joining a talented and committed group of staff and volunteers at the Oregon Coast Aquarium,” said Gamer. “My family has been coming to the aquarium for years and I can personally attest to the impact it has on understanding, appreciating and conserving marine and coastal systems. This is especially true for young people.  The Aquarium's mission is vital for Oregon’s future and provides great opportunities for building relationships regionally and internationally.”  

The position has been open since September, 2008, when former President Dale Schmidt accepted the position of Assistant Zoo Director and Chief Operating Officer at The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. Carrie Lewis, Aquarium Director of Marketing, has been serving as Interim President while the search for a new President was conducted.

"We are excited to welcome Gary to the Aquarium, said Lewis. “His strong leadership background, his passion for the Aquarium and belief in our mission is a perfect fit for our organization. We are eager to have him join our dedicated staff and look forward to his energy and vision that he'll bring to the Aquarium."   

Gamer has a local connection to Newport in having a residence shared with other families. His background includes strategic planning, program and resource development, communications, policy and standards development, developing partnerships, and working with and serving on boards and stakeholder groups.   Gamer is a graduate of the University of Oregon's College of Business and has a Master's Degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

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