Press Room
26
June
2012

COSI Names New Vice Presidents

(Columbus) June 26, 2012 – COSI, The Center of Science and Industry, named Andy Zakrajsek Vice President of Operations and Experiences, and Azuka MuMin Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. Both bring a variety of unique skills to the executive leadership team at COSI.

Andy comes to COSI most recently from Sodexo where he was District Manager overseeing food service operations in various museums, zoos, non-profit and government entities in a seven-state district. Prior to that, he spent almost 10 years at the Museum of Science and Industry as the Director of Guest Operations. Andy was directly responsible for multiple departments across a broad range of business activities from guest services such as box office, admissions and call center operations to food service and events. His responsibilities also included supporting successful launches of major temporary exhibitions (such as Body Worlds I and II) and significant installed exhibitions. The gross revenues of operations under his direct leadership were a significant part of earned income at one of the nation's three largest science museums with average on-site attendance of 1.5 million visitors annually.

In his role at COSI, Andy will be responsible for helping oversee and expand COSI’s earned revenue initiatives as well as the delivery of COSI experiences and guest relations.

“Andy brings an extensive career that spans two distinct but interconnected industries,” said David E. Chesebrough, Ed.D, COSI President and CEO. “Not only does he have far-reaching experience in operations, business development and revenue enhancement in food and retail hospitality management, but also in not-for-profit cultural institutions. This unique combination of experiences will help COSI build on the positive momentum we have been enjoying the past few years with growth in our critical earned revenue lines, now over 75% of our annual budget, which fuel our more mission based programs and services.”

Azuka MuMin has been with COSI for the last five years spearheading the development and impact of the Community Outreach and Engagement Department. Under her direction are three highly impactful units targeting minority and low-income families, teen and college student audiences. Over the past four years Azuka has facilitated fully subsidized admissions for more than 100,000 low-income children and families via community and school partnerships, which led to nearly 20% of COSI’s annual family memberships being need-based. As a result, science center program awareness increased by 40% in traditionally underserved communities while achieving an unprecedented 97% satisfaction rating for the community’s engagement with COSI. Azuka oversees meaningful community partnerships with 100+ organizations, ensuring sustainability in COSI’s efforts to serve underserved and under-represented communities through multiple programs and special events. Prior to joining COSI, Azuka had 10 years of non-profit experience with several social services agencies focused on empowering low-income families through employment and education.

Azuka was instrumental in forming and facilitating the steering committee for the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibition, comprised of diverse groups of community leaders from various companies and organizations around Columbus. “Azuka’s hard work in community outreach efforts over the last five years has created a powerful network to ensure all people feel welcome at COSI at any time. Her work on the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibition elevated awareness of our goals for community engagement to new levels,” said David E. Chesebrough, Ed.D, COSI President and CEO. “That dedication and the success we had with the exhibition both in the community and internally, served as the catalyst to elevate Diversity and Inclusion at COSI to the leadership level. Azuka will provide Vice President level support and guidance across the organization, and counsel to my leadership, to oversee the development and implementation of this important institutional priority.”

COSI, the Center of Science and Industry located in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the most respected science centers in the nation — engaging nearly 30 million individuals since 1964. Parents Magazine named COSI the #1 Science Center for families in the country. COSI’s programs and world-class experiences inspire an interest in science and encourage people to want to learn more about their world. Read more at cosi.org.

Author; Jaclyn Reynolds

About the Author

Jaclyn Reynolds

Jaclyn Reynolds is the Public Relations and Social Media Manager for COSI. She has worked in communications and PR for more than 15 years. She has worked as a TV news producer in cable news and as a public information officer and communications specialist in state government.