If there’s been one constant at the Powerhouse Science Center since it closed, it’s change. And now it’s undergoing another change, as Executive Director Nana Naisbitt is out after just three months on the job.
“We wanted you to be the first to know that Nana Naisbitt and the Powerhouse Science Center have decided to part ways,” Powerhouse board President Kathleen O’Connor said in an email sent to supporters and members. “We ultimately felt the partnership was not working out. We wish Ms. Naisbitt the best in her future endeavors.”
The Powerhouse closed abruptly May 9 after concerns about serious financial difficulties the center was facing were raised. Naisbitt had begun as executive director one month earlier. The board closed the doors and fired eight staff members to give it time to restructure operations in a more sustainable way, board members said at the time.
“We are very grateful to Ms. Naisbitt for envisioning the Powerhouse reboot while highlighting its unique historic equipment and special place in the history of energy production. During her time at the Powerhouse, she also identified numerous major deficiencies in our business operations, which we are steadily in the process of restructuring into a sustainable business model,” the email said.
Joe Lounge, who was the exhibits and programs manager before his resignation in early June, has returned and will work with the board of directors to get the center open by the target of Sept. 1.
In June, Naisbitt said that she wouldn’t have taken the job had she known how bad the Powerhouse’s financial situation was.
The board doesn’t plan to begin the search for a new executive director until the center reaches “operational sustainability,” according to the email.
The first of two Powerhouse listening sessions for community input will be held Thursday, with the second one taking place July 28.