SOURCE: Kidspace Children's Museum

December 13, 2007 14:18 ET

Kidspace Children's Museum Selects New Board President and Executive Director

Appoints New Board Members for Growing Campus

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - December 13, 2007) - Kidspace Children's Museum, the premier children's museum in Southern California, today announced the election of a new president and appointment of a new executive director to guide the growth of the three-acre campus, as well as the selection of four new members to its board of directors.

"We are pleased to announce such a strong and diverse group of people who will lend their expertise and skills in guiding the growth of this magnificent educational and recreational resource for Southern California," said Gregory D. Johnson, the new president of Kidspace Children's Museum. "Our selection of Tracy Bechtold as the new executive director fills a leadership gap and allows us to move forward aggressively with expansion efforts to elevate us as a world-class learning facility."

Johnson, who joined the board in 2006, is a portfolio counselor and president of American Balanced Fund and senior vice president Capital World Investors, a member of the Capital Group Companies in Los Angeles. Reflecting his primary philanthropic interests in supporting early childhood education as well as preserving our national parks, Johnson also serves on the boards of Foothill Family Services and The Yosemite Fund. A native Californian, Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a master's in business administration from Columbia University.

Bechtold, who had served as interim executive director since June of 2007, was made permanent executive director and is tasked with overseeing the daily operations and programs of the museum, as well as future expansion plans.

"With these new board additions, we have a complete leadership team and I look forward to implementing their vision for a world-class educational facility for children and families who will be able to have a one-of-a-kind experience here in Pasadena," Bechtold said. "We have exciting plans to complete the master plan for this exceptional campus."

Previously, Bechtold was principal and founder of Opus Group, a boutique public relations consulting practice providing strategic communications services for business-to-business and business-to-consumer corporations and institutions. Prior to that, she served as vice president at Burson-Marsteller, a global communications consultancy. She received her bachelor's of arts degrees in English and art history from the University of Arizona.

Also appointed to the board are William Baribault, Grant L. Cambridge, Gail Ellis, Ph.D. and Walter J. Mix III.

--  William Baribault has been active in the La Canada and Pasadena
    business and philanthropic communities for 25 years, most recently serving
    as the chief executive officer for Oakwood Enterprises. He is also the
    chairman of Professional Business Bank and is a director or board advisor
    on the boards of Architectural Woodworking Company, M Chemical Company,
    Active Sales, Inc., Chief Executives Organization, M. C. Gill Corporation,
    Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation, and Flintridge Preparatory School.
    Baribault received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University;
--  Grant L. Cambridge is a senior vice president and director of research
    of Capital World Investors, a member of the Capital Group Companies in Los
    Angeles, and a portfolio counselor and investment analyst for the American
    Funds.  He serves on the board of Value Schools, a newly established
    charter school in Los Angeles, and is member of the board for the Coalition
    for At Risk Urban Youths (aka. CARRY), focused on helping the needs of
    inner city foster care children in Los Angeles.  Cambridge also supports My
    Friend's Place, a youth homeless shelter in Los Angeles.  He earned his
    masters in business administration from the Harvard Business School,
    master's from Suffolk University, and bachelor's of science degree from
    Bentley College;
--  Dr. Gail Ellis is a registered psychologist at Pasadena City College
    and works in the Office of Psychological Services assisting students with
    disabilities, and assessing for ADHD.  A native of Illinois, Dr. Ellis
    earned her bachelor's degree in political science from Barat College in
    1969 and earned two master's degrees (marriage and family therapy and
    organizational behavior) and a doctorate in psychology from Phillips
    Graduate Institute in 2002 and 2006, respectively.  In between these
    endeavors, she worked as a probate processor in an Illinois bank, raised
    five children, owned her own retail/wholesale design business and
    participated in a variety of philanthropic leadership activities in both
    Illinois and California; and
--  Walter J. Mix III is a managing director in the Los Angeles office of
    LECG, a leading expert services firm, specializing in domestic and foreign
    bank risk management, strategic planning and financial advisory services.
    Prior to joining Secura, he was commissioner of the California Department
    of Financial Institutions (DFI). Mix worked with financial institutions on
    more than 60 mergers and acquisitions and the formation of 50 de novo
    institutions and was instrumental in the development and passage of
    California's identity theft law and many other laws including the
    interstate banking and branching law and cooperative supervisory agreements
    for domestic and foreign banks. A graduate of the University of California,
    he earned a master's degree with a concentration in economics and public
    policy from Rutgers University. Mix serves as chairman of the International
    Bankers Association of California.

Now located in Brookside Park, Pasadena, on three acres of gently sloping forested land, the new Kidspace campus was built within the three white wooden structures that formerly housed the Fannie Morrison Horticultural Center, constructed originally in 1938.

Kidspace Children's Museum is open daily from 9:30a.m. - 5p.m. Tickets are $8 for children and adults (infants under one are free). Kidspace is located at 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., in Brookside Park, Pasadena, Calif., just opposite the Rose Bowl. Kidspace Children's Museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that exists to enrich the lives of children. Kidspace is an interactive learning and play environment for children, families, educators, and caregivers. For further information, please visit our Web site:

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    James Lee
    The Lee Strategy Group, Inc.
    Tel: (310) 229-5771
    Email: Email Contact