By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
About 600 guests will gather on Oct. 28 to honor Kim Cavendish, president and chief executive officer of the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS), as she retires after 30 years of service — and some outstanding accomplishments.
“I’m very grateful and honored,” Cavendish says. “It’s probably going to be an emotional moment.”
The event, the PNC Bank Journey to the Amazon Gala — the museum’s signature annual fundraising event — will be held at the museum and will feature an Amazon-themed evening complete with dining and dancing.
Cavendish has led museums since 1981. Since that time, she has served as the chief executive officer of the Orlando Science Center, the Virginia Air & Space Center and MODS, along with its forerunner, The Discovery Center. In total, she has been a leader in the museum industry for more than 36 years.
During her tenure at MODS, Cavendish spearheaded its growth from modest beginnings as “The Discovery Center” to its current position as a major science center with an IMAX Theater, which opened in 1992. In 2011, she opened the EcoDiscovery Center, a two-story, 34,000-square-foot addition that doubled the museum’s exhibit space. That project, the first phase of a $35 million capital project, earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) Silver certification. Phase II of that project is now underway and includes renovation of the AutoNation IMAX Theater (already completed), exhibit upgrades and renovations to the 25-year-old facility, as well as a new outdoor science park facing Broward Boulevard.
The Gala will include a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, dinner and wine pairing and dancing.
“It’s not an actual goodbye, but it certainly is a time to reflect on all the things that happened in these last 30 years and all the wonderful support that the museum has had from the community,” Cavendish says. After she retires, she plans to travel, spend time with her family and work to preserve wildlife.
The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale. For information or tickets, call 954-713-0918 or visit mods.org.
-—Robyn A. Friedman