Wonder Works Children’s Museum has hired Rachel Rettberg as its first CEO as the organization plans to expand its fundraising capacity and move to a larger location in the future, according to a press release from Inside Edge PR.
Rettberg was most recently a Wonder Works Board Member and Secretary. She has a background in early childhood development, and will be teaming up with Executive Director Mary Bodlak. The two plan to spearhead fundraising initiatives and develop deeper relationships with innovators in the field of early childhood education, according to the press release.
The museum, located at 6445 W. North Ave. in Oak Park, promotes creativity in youth with a focus on children up to eight-years-old. The non-profit was founded in 1991 and now welcomes roughly 60,000 visitors annually.
“We are the bridge between the family room and the classroom, and we need to build capacity to create even greater impact on children and families,” says Wonder Works Board President John Harris. “Mary has done an outstanding job, and hiring Rachel represents an investment that will bring us to the next phase of the museum’s development.”
Wonder Works will continue to “be that place where you can be unplugged and free, so you’re not tethered to technology or the more rigid framework of the classroom,” Rettberg said. “At Wonder Works, kids are free to experiment, to learn and to work with and cooperate with each other.”
A native of England and Oak Park resident since 2004, Rettberg and her husband, Kyle, have three sons between the ages of 6 and 13. A former Chicago preschool teacher and assistant director of a private pre-school, Rettberg also serves on the St. Giles School Board. In 2011, she received a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University, according to the press release.
“I have always been passionate about early childhood education,” Rettberg said. “My new position is a unique opportunity to work with children while also advocating for them. I’m thrilled about what lies ahead.”