Tyler Moles brought his nonprofit experience to the Discovery Center of Springfield Inc. in 2021 during a time of transition for the organization amid the COVID-19 pandemic. His work at the Springfield nonprofit has quickly paid dividends.
Moles, the Discovery Center’s vice president of operations, says he first became introduced to the organization when he began bringing his foster children to the downtown science center several years ago. He also knew Discovery Center Executive Director Rob Blevins as a friend through Springfield Sertoma Club and former colleague through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.
“My friend and now employer Rob Blevins described some of the needs that the Discovery Center had, and I knew I could help,” Moles says. “I joined the Discovery Center team with the specific intent to revitalize the building and facilities in order to make it viable for future generations of children.”
A major endeavor he took on early at the nonprofit was applying for the inaugural STOP Award, a Forbes partnership with the Center for Education Reform. The Discovery Center would win the $1 million national award for its education work during the pandemic.
“Through this, I was able to show professional leadership to the entire Discovery Center team and board of directors by rallying the team and changing the cultural dynamic of the organization post-pandemic,” Moles says. “This springboard has created a dream-big mentality of people who say, ‘We can do this,’ when presented with a challenging goal toward center improvement and revitalization.”
The STOP Award, which stands for education that is sustainable, transformational, outstanding and permissionless, cited the Discovery Center’s work in 2020 to offer child care services for health care workers in response to the pandemic. The nonprofit also launched the Discovery School at the Center, a private school that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math.
As Moles states, his work at the Discovery Center has not gone unnoticed.
“He is a force in this world, and his resume and accomplishments reflect this,” Blevins says. “People like Tyler aren’t often recognized for their successes because you just expect great things from them.”
Prior to his work at the Discovery Center, Moles took key lessons from his experience working in the logistics division at SRC Holdings Corp. to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks. He contacted his connections at the Great Game of Business, an open-book management program owned by SRC.
“We worked with the BBBSO staff to train them on financial literacy and implemented the Great Game of Business at BBBSO,” Moles says. “In the first year of implementation, we were able to increase the overall revenue by 22% and the number of children served by 17%.
“This effort to improve the performance of the organization was recognized by the Great Game of Business when I was invited to accept the Pioneer Award at their annual conference.”
General aviation terminal expansion is set to wrap by August.