Museum Leadership

Russell S. Daws, President and Chief Executive Officer, has directed the organization since 1990. His commitments to helping people gain a better understanding about their history and role in nature have been demonstrated through the Museum and far beyond.

Russell Daws serves on numerous boards and advisory committees, including the Florida Association of Museums, the Tallahassee Rotary Club and the Big Bend Scenic Byway Corridor Management Entity.

Mr. Daws serves as a museum accreditation reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums. He has served as a grant reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C. and as a grant panelist for the State of Florida’s Museum grant programs.

Mr. Daws has provided service to the Florida Association of Museums Foundation, the Tallahassee Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Leon County Tourist Development Council, and Visit Florida’s Cultural Heritage Tourism Committee serving as board chairman for those organizations.  He has contributed board and advisory service to a variety of organizations including the Claude Pepper Center/Foundation, FSU Museum Studies Program, 4H, the Girl Scouts, Junior League, and several national museum boards, civic organizations and publications. He has also been an adjunct faculty member for Antioch College and Temple University, and an instructor for FSU.

Prior to his arrival in Tallahassee, Mr. Daws served in several leadership positions with the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia where he worked for 15 years. Since arriving in Tallahassee with his family, Mr. Daws has guided major expansions to the Tallahassee Museum’s facilities and programs.

Board of Trustees


Claude C. Lilly, Retired College President

First Vice Chairman:

Eryn Calabro, Senior Management & Budget Analyst, Leon County Office of Management and Budget

Second Vice Chair:

Larry Kubiak, Psychologist, Tallahassee Memorial Behavioral Health Center


Lauren Applewhite, Community Volunteer


Ken Silvestri, Owner, Silvestri Construction Inc

Immediate Past Chairman:

Allen McConnaughhay, Attorney, Fonvielle, Lewis, Messer & McConnaughhay

Ex-Officio Trustee:

Mike Rupp, Owner, RAGZ

Members at Large:

George Avant, Managing Partner, Avant Huston Financial Group

Park Broome, Chief Strategy Officer at Central Credit Union of Florida

Bryan Desloge, Community Volunteer

Malinda Horton, Executive Director, Florida Association of Museums

Ana Melendez, CEO/Owner, A&E Wholesale

Richard Moore, CFO/General Counsel, part owner, Moore, Inc.

Kim Ortloff, Founder and CEO of Kim Ortloff Massage & Flexibility Therapy

Kimberly Smiley, Market President, Centennial Bank

Rob Vickers, Staff Director, Florida Senate Transportation Committee

Abbey Watt, Community Volunteer, Thomasville, GA