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Mestad leaving museum for new gig

Mestad leaving museum for new gig

Heidi Mestad announced Wednesday she is leaving the Minnesota Children's Museum Rochester after two and a half years of serving as its director. 

Mestad said she has accepted a new position as a senior associate design anthropologist with HGA, an architecture, engineering and planning firm. Her last day with the museum will be April 20.

"I am proud and grateful of all the energy I’ve been a part of as Rochester has grown," Mestad said in an email Wednesday. "Now, I’m leaving the museum with strong and sustainable operations, restructured talent, advanced governance structure and, through our 18 month strategic planning, a relevant and impactful future museum concept with a scalable path forward to thrive while growing with our community."

Related: Is Rochester ready for a new museum?

Prior to joining the museum, Mestad held positions with the Rochester Downtown Alliance, where she led efforts to introduce programming like Thursdays on First and 3rd, and Destination Medical Center, where she helped facilitate more than 200 public engagement sessions. 

While her new job will primarily be out of Milwaukee and Minneapolis, Mestad said she will continue to live in Rochester and "support our region as it grows, whenever possible."

Beth Sherden, who now serves as the operations and experience manager, will take over as interim director of the museum. 

"Beth will continue to keep the museum humming as it moves into its next phase of implementing growth," said Mestad. "I am very optimistic about the direction the museum is heading and excited to follow its continued impact."

Cover photo: Mestad (second from left) and Sherden (second from right) along with other museum staff / William Forsman

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