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PYSK: Gwen Robbins

Gwen Robbins
Executive Director, YouZeum
AGE: 39

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: As executive director, I am responsible for administrative functions and operations, overseeing permanent and traveling exhibits, financial management and educational programming of the science center.



EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in speech communications from the University of Washington, Seattle.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Former board member of Southwest Playschool in Columbia and of Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Montana in Bozeman, Mont.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Helped to raise funds and open a 14,700-square-foot science and technology center for children at the Elementary Institute of Science in San Diego, Calif. Helped raise $12 million for a new facility for Senior Services and 25 units of affordable housing for seniors in Seattle, Wash.

A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE: I admire Jeff Offutt, owner of several Subway franchises, because he works tirelessly and has a great sense of humor.

WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: I love the mission of the YouZeum: promoting health using fun, interactive education. I also believe the YouZeum will be a wonderful addition to our city.

IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING: I would be working and volunteering for an organization like the YouZeum with a mission of improving the quality of life for its citizens.

BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME AND HOW: My biggest career obstacle was working for an organization that had poor leadership. I realized that to succeed, I needed to bring in more leaders on our board to overcome our challenges.

WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: You’d better love what you do because it takes passion and tenacity, and you work your tail off.

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: I love most sports and just being outside to play or exercise.

FAMILY: My husband, Steve, and I have been married 15 years, and we have a daughter, Sarah, age 5, and a son, Gabriel, 19 months.


ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: I am most proud of working with a grassroots board to build an innovative new science and technology center for children in an underserved neighborhood of San Diego.

MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT: I think training for a triathlon is fun.

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