Despite the slow economy, under the leadership of President and CEO David Chesebrough, COSI had a successful year last year. The center provides educational exhibits and programs designed to inspire a better understanding of science, and last year, it had significant growth in its evolution to an active, multidimensional center of science. The COSI board approved the release of $675,000 in cash reserves for further progress in the fiscal year ended last June. As a result, COSI was able to overcome what would have been a budget deficit and made gains through increased attendance and membership purchases. In a vote of confidence for Chesebrough, the COSI board has again approved a budget for fiscal 2011 with the same release of cash reserves, assured by his carefully applied business practices and confident that those practices will once again result in a budget surplus for the organization.
Chesebrough has had a tremendous impact on the organization, and one of his primary methods of adapting to the new economic realities of the past few years has been his continual focus on cultivating partnerships, including both existing and new collaborations. During his tenure, he has had a deliberate vetting and engaging of new board members to secure representation from major supporters of COSI and leading community organizations. By fostering important board relationships, COSI received $2.5 million in support in fiscal 2010 in spite of the continued weakness of the economy. Because of Chesebrough’s leadership, these contributors are confident that they are investing their support well in the community service that COSI provides.
In addition to his efforts with the board, Chesebrough has also stressed the importance of collaboration by identifying new sources of funding and carving out new revenue streams. He partnered in the creation of a consortium including major science centers from around the country and National Geographic, and in doing so, he helped secure a $3.4 million grant from GE and the Department of Energy to be shared among the members of the consortium. COSI will receive funding through this grant to implement new programming and experiences aligned with its energy and environment strategic area of focus.
All of these initiatives, as well as many others by Chesebrough, are taking COSI to new levels of service and excellence in the community.
How to reach: COSI, (614) 228-2674 or www.cosi.org