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Rob Blevins succeeds Meleah Spencer as executive director of the Discovery Center.
SBJ FILE
Rob Blevins succeeds Meleah Spencer as executive director of the Discovery Center.

Discovery Center names 3rd director in its history

Posted online

The Discovery Center of Springfield Inc. selected Rob Blevins as the third executive director for the downtown nonprofit incorporated in 1991.

The nonprofit board chose Blevins to succeed Meleah Spencer, who was hired as CEO of The Kitchen Inc. Spencer took over in March 2014 for founding director Emily Fox, according to a news release. Blevins is expected to start in January, said Discovery Center spokeswoman Jennifer Collins.

Blevins comes to the Discovery Center from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, where he was vice president of community engagement. He’s worked with the organization since August 2015, according to his LinkedIn page.

“For a lot of kids growing up in the Ozarks, the world isn’t a beautiful place at all. It’s not knowing where their next meal is coming from. It’s not knowing that adults shouldn’t hurt you emotionally or physically,” Blevins said in the release. “But for the kids coming into the center, they get to discover that our world is truly and immensely beautiful. I’m humbled to be a part of that discovery.”

A member of Springfield Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 class this year, Blevins has spoken at the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership and the Drury Nonprofit Leadership annual conferences. His work helped the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter earn National Agency of the Year honors in 2016 and the Pinnacle Award as a top performing agency in quality and growth this year.

“His experience, skills and passion will be a real asset to the Discovery Center and we look forward to working with him,” said board President Karen Brown, director of organizational development and improvement for Brewer Science Inc., in the release.

As director, Blevins leads a nonprofit that’s faced operating annual operating losses totaling nearly $2 million 2012-2016. It has an annual operating budget of roughly $1.2 million, according to Springfield Business Journal reporting.

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