Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester Announces New Director: Heidi Mestad

by | Nov 18, 2015 | Press Release, Rochester

Heidi Mestad, an experienced community engagement and experience design professional, is joining Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester as the organization’s new director.

A Rochester native, Mestad joins the Museum from Mayo Clinic, where she was a manager for the Destination Medical Center (DMC) initiative.

Heidi Mestad“We are delighted to welcome Heidi to our museum in Rochester,” said Dianne Krizan, President of Minnesota Children’s Museum. “She’s got the expertise, experience and energy to help the Museum grow to serve even more families.”

Mestad will begin her new position Dec. 9.

“This is such an exciting opportunity to continue and grow Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester,” Mestad said. “The museum is a tremendous community asset – a place where all generations can connect through play and innovation. With all the energy and momentum in our community, there are great things ahead for Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester!”

At Mayo Clinic, Mestad was instrumental in laying the foundation for the legislative approval and the development of the DMC strategic plan. She facilitated more than 200 community engagement sessions, aligning strategic partners and building social capacity. Mestad also was a key driver in redesigning the patient experience strategy for DMC and Mayo Clinic.

Prior to joining the DMC initiative, Mestad served as the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s director of community engagement leading projects such as Thursdays on first & 3rd, SOCIALICE and About YOU (Creative Community Asset Inventory), all as tools to build social capital, economic value and community identity.

Mestad’s career and passion on designing experiences around people’s values and purpose grew in Washington D.C. when she worked for Meridian International Cultural Center and Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of Natural History. The opportunity to work on the “Race: Are We So Different?” exhibit at the Science Museum Minnesota, eight years ago, allowed Heidi to return to Minnesota. Since then, she has been a change agent in advocating and building a vibrant, inclusive and active urban core.

Since opening in April 2012, Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester has delighted more than 100,000 visitors and enrolled nearly 1,000 member families – growing into a valuable asset in the Rochester community.

Mestad will help guide the Museum during an important period of growth and transition. The Museum, located at River Center Plaza at 1643 North Broadway St., is evaluating the possibility of moving to the historic “castle” building in downtown Rochester. The castle building, a former armory owned by the City of Rochester, would provide more space for exhibits, programming and visitor amenities.

Mestad replaces Dawn Devine, the first director of Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester, who left the organization in August to pursue a new phase in her career.

For details about visiting the museum, visit Rochester.MCM.org or call 507-218-3100.

Media Contact

Karen Cook
Development and Marketing Coordinator
Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester
P: 507.218.3103

About Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester
Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester is located at 1643 N. Broadway St. Suite A, River Center Plaza in Rochester. The Museum is open Wednesday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday & Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday: 12 to 4 p.m. Visit rochester.mcm.org for additional hours, parking, and program information.

About Minnesota Children’s Museum

Minnesota Children’s Museum is dedicated to sparking children’s learning through play. Our vision: “Kids play more. Adults do, too.  We thrive as a happier, healthier and more innovative community through the radiant power of play.” The Museum serves more than 460,000 visitors each year at its locations in St. Paul and Rochester, and reaches thousands more across the state through Smart Play Spots, Storyland exhibits and other programs. As the nation’s leading developer of traveling children’s museum exhibits, the Museum is a trailblazer in creating immersive learning environments, reaching more than 10 million children and adults in the United States, Canada and Mexico through the nation’s largest collection of children’s traveling exhibits. The Museum is consistently rated as one of the top children’s museums in the country by national media outlets such as Forbes and Parents and was named as a finalist for an Institute of Museum and Library Services Medal of Service, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries. Follow Minnesota Children’s Museum on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester on Facebook.


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