Released March 16, 2017

Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites President and CEO Tom King to Retire; Successor Named


Contact: Aja May, senior vice president of external relations
317.741.7437 or [email protected]

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites announced today that Tom King will retire as president and CEO effective April 30, 2017. The ISMHS’ board of directors has unanimously elected Cathy Ferree to assume the role of president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites as of May 1, 2017.

“When Governor Daniels asked me to come on board, I intended to stay for about a year,” said King. “But then I fell in love with the place. Now, seven years later, I’m so pleased with the progress we have made.”

King was instrumental in bringing blockbuster exhibitions like Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination and Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition to the Indiana State Museum, and spearheaded the on-going INVision capital campaign, which is funding the core gallery renovations in progress at the ISM as well as projects at the statewide historic sites. In fall of 2016, the ISMHS unveiled the completed first phase of this five-phase project that will culminate during the ISMHS’ sesquicentennial in 2019.

Bill Browne, chairman of the board of directors of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, said: “On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank Tom for his visionary and steady leadership, and his commitment to the museum’s mission of exploring, celebrating and stewarding all that is authentically wondrous about Indiana. Tom’s dedication to this organization and his efforts on its behalf leave the ISMHS in a position of strength, with excellent prospects for the future as the INVision campaign moves through its remaining phases.”

There will be a month-long transition period before Ferree officially takes over as president and CEO in May. Ferree presently serves as the vice president and chief operating officer of Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers, Indiana. Prior to working at Conner Prairie, she was associate vice president of exhibits at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. She also served as a founding member of the staff for The Children’s Museum of Atlanta and has over 30 years of experience in the museum business.

Ferree has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Public Affairs in Nonprofit Management degree, both from Indiana University.

“I’m delighted to join the team at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, especially at such an exciting time in the system’s history,” said Cathy Ferree. “It has been a cornerstone cultural institution in this state for almost 150 years and Indiana has benefited from its dedicated stewardship of our past and commitment to our future.”

For more information, please contact Aja May, senior vice president of external relations at 317.741.7437 or [email protected]

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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites give people thousands of ways to explore Indiana. At all 12 locations, visitors will find stories about the people, places and things that shape Indiana. ISMHS welcomes everyone, whether they’re a Hoosier by birth or a Hoosier at heart.