Questions and Answers Related to Adams's Retirement
August 1, 2016
For Immediate Release
Questions and Answers Related to Adams's Retirement
When did Rollie Adams inform the museum about his retirement?
Adams informed The Strong’s Executive Committee last December of his intent to retire at the end of 2016.
Why is Adams retiring?
After nearly 30 years of service to The Strong and more than 50 years total in museums and teaching, Adams is looking forward to spending more time with his family and pursuing historical and cultural interests beyond the museum.
What does president and CEO emeritus mean? Is the consulting arrangement in name only?
The designation of president and CEO emeritus is honorary, given in recognition of Adams’s long and significant service to the museum. The consulting arrangement is for the benefit of the museum. In that capacity, he will assist with fundraising and act as an advisor on strategic museum development.
Did The Strong have a succession plan and was it followed?
Like any successfully managed organization, the museum has long had both emergency and long-term processes in place to engage the next president and CEO when the time came. In keeping with those, after learning of Adams’s intent, the Executive Committee of The Strong’s Board of Trustees convened as a Search Committee to conduct the process of identifying his successor.
What steps were taken to identify Adams’s successor?
In an extensive process, the committee reviewed other executive leadership searches, communicated with search firms, engaged senior staff leadership, and determined key qualifications for the next president and CEO. In the course of all of that, the committee identified Steve Dubnik as a potential internal candidate whose skills and experience not only matched the desired qualifications, but also offered a unique and strategically important opportunity for smooth and efficient transition into effective next-stage leadership. Then, after an intensive interview and vetting process, the committee selected him for the position with great confidence in his ability to propel the museum into the next stages of its growth and service.
Who headed up the Search Committee?
Laura Saxby Lynch, then vice chair of the Board of Trustees, headed the Search Committee, with particular assistance from long-time trustee Zeke Duda, chair of the Board’s Governance Committee, past chairperson of the Board of Trustees, and member of its Executive Committee.
What makes Dubnik qualified to be a museum chief?
Until tapped for this position, Dubnik was most recently CEO of Lexifone Communications Systems, a fully automatic voice translation and transcription service company with a worldwide customer base. He brings to his new position 30 years of entrepreneurial experience that also includes leadership roles with telecommunications and technology start-ups such as OnCell, NYSYS Wireless LLC, and Choice One Communications. Further, Dubnik has been a member of The Strong’s Board of Trustees since 2000 and has served as chairperson since 2014. He is intimately engaged with museum operations and strategic vision as a long-time member of the museum Executive and Finance Committees and as co-project manager, with Adams, on The Strong’s Inner Loop East development proposal.
There’s not much written on Steve Dubnik. What can you tell us about him?
As noted above, until tapped for this position, Steve Dubnik was CEO of Lexifone Communications Systems, a fully automatic voice translation and transcription service company with a worldwide customer base. He brings to his new position 30 years of entrepreneurial experience that also includes leadership roles with telecommunications and technology start-ups such as OnCell, NYSYS Wireless LLC, and Choice One Communications. Dubnik is an engineering graduate of MIT and holds an MBA from the University of Rochester’s William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration. He has been a member of The Strong’s board since 2000 and has served on the Board of Nazareth College. He resides in Pittsford with his wife and two children.
Will the role of president and CEO change? How?
Fundamentally, no; however, leadership positions such as this often change and evolve in relation to factors such as operating environment and strategic needs and opportunities. Adams is a historian and educator, and Dubnik is an engineer and businessman, and both men are both highly entrepreneurial in their respective fields, which overlap at The Strong. Adams led the national and international development of the museum’s collections and interpretive programs, and Dubnik is positioned to lead the institution to the next level by expanding on existing business and other partnerships, creating new ones, and taking advantage of new opportunities in digital technology.
What’s next for The Strong?
The museum will continue to grow its collections, support scholarly research, serve as a national and international authority on the importance of play, provide dynamic exhibits and other programs for diverse audiences, offer community services commensurate with its educational mission, and look for opportunities to extend its capacity and reach. In the course of all of that, the museum will increase its use of technology for both operational and audience-development purposes. And it will seek to respond appropriately to extensive 2015 marketing and advertising research that indicates the desirability of future physical expansion.