Chief Marketing Officer, Discovery Place


Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Discovery Place brings science, nature, and design together to create transformative experiences that enable the community to understand, enjoy, and apply science to their lives. Through a network of four hands-on museums in three cities with international exhibits, multimedia experiences community outreach programs, and a broad diversity of educational experiences for all ages, Discovery Place is a leader in STEM education.

Discovery Place serves over 750,000 people a year, shaping a future where people embrace science to create opportunities, build hope, solve problems, and bring positive change for our world. The near-term future for Discovery Place includes major projects for new science and children’s museums, creation of a new digital dome theatre, major international exhibitions, and innovative audience experiences exclusively for adults.

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The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) reports to the Chief Executive Officer and leads a team of marketing, communications, sales, and revenue professionals.


The Chief Marketing Officer leads the marketing vision and plan to expand and transform the Discovery Place brand, audience, impact, and ROI. The CMO leads the expansion of strategic marketing capabilities, drives attendance and visitor-driven revenue through digital channels, and, as the premier institution and destination for science, nature, and innovation for learners of all ages, ensures a strong value proposition with donors, educators, and the general community.

Specific duties will include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  • Develop and expand the marketing vision for the Discovery Place brand, building a customer-centric focus to increase and diversify audiences/revenues, enhance educational value, and promote community impact.
  • Own marketing vision and roadmap for evolution and development of the team and capabilities.
  • In collaboration with the museums and advancement divisions, lead efforts to build an omnichannel, customer-centric marketing and sales effort to enhance and achieve other revenue lines of business; lead or support the development of new products, programs, and lines of business.
  • Build and implement strategies, including technological strategies to acquire and grow audience and revenue, with both short- and long-term points of view (measuring customer lifetime value – CLV).
  • Advance marketing technical capabilities with a team of creative, digital, media in- and out-of-house professionals to expand data-driven digital marketing. Develop strategies to measure results.
  • Build nimble e-commerce optimization and new product/experience development to produce year-over-year growth in revenue and attendance.
  • Expand efforts to place Discovery Place as “top of mind” for target audiences, including expansion into new target demographics with a focus on diversification of audience base. This includes the traditional family and school audiences as well as new growth with adult-only segments.
  • Oversee communications strategies to articulate Discovery Place’s service and community impact. Through communications and sales strategies, position Discovery Place as a “solutions partner” for educational advancement in STEM.
  • Bring imagination, creativity, and innovation to the development of new experiences, products, and events. Team with internal partners Advancement, Science and Nature, and Early Childhood to make Discovery Place’s events and experiences, as well as facility rentals, unforgettable.
  • Lead external positioning and communications for all major programs and events, including new museum announcements and openings.
  • Develop strategies and opportunities to embed diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) through all aspects of work and culture.
  • Develop a team culture that is creative, resourceful, nimble, customer-focused, cross-functional, and community-centric; inspire a dynamic team that is devoted to communicating the mission and vision of Discovery Place to positively impact its communities.


  • Advanced degree in Business Administration (MBA – emphasis in marketing) or a related field is strongly desired and ten years of senior-level experience in marketing, communications, business, or a related field or equivalent combination of education and experience, including management experience leading a team and collaborating with peers.
  • Passion for the Discovery Place mission, growth, impact, and lasting value. Healthy risk-taker with strong business acumen.
  • Thorough understanding of, and deep experience in, modern marketing; familiarity and expertise with marketing automation, machine learning, and other forms of artificial intelligence is desired. Experience building a digital ecosystem.
  • Strong hands-on analytical skills, and data-driven decision-making skills; demonstrated record of leveraging marketing analytics platforms and integrations to grow and retain audiences including experience with Google Analytics and Google Ads.
  • Adaptive, creative, strategic, and forward-thinking about mission, audiences, and much more. Confident without ego, spirit of generosity.
  • Ability to function in a non-silo environment and collaborate with peer leaders on the blurred lines of marketing across all areas.
  • Superior writing and presentation skills; proficient in MS Office products as well as productivity software.
  • Respect for the roles of nonprofit, education/cultural and attractions domains with prior experience blending mission and margin priorities.


Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive salary and benefits package.

Discovery Place is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace.


Sam Fortenbery, Consultant