Tenth Anniversary Brings New CEO and Advisory Committee for Children’s Museum of Naples

NAPLES, Florida (February 23, 2022) – The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples Board of Directors announced the appointment of Jonathan Foerster as its new Chief Executive Officer. At the same time, the board announced the formation of a new CMON Advisory Board and named Dena Rae Hancock, the organization’s outgoing CEO, as its first member. These moves are effective immediately.

CMON also announced Shera Askar was appointed to a two-year term as a member of the Board of Directors.

“As we enter our tenth year of operating the museum, the board wanted to ensure its leadership for the future,” said Jodie Montgomery, chairwoman of the board. “Jonathan and Dena Rae bring a wealth of experience in nonprofit leadership and fundraising. We are excited to see where CMON is headed after these changes.”

Foerster most recently served as CMON’s Chief Operating Officer. Prior to his arrival at CMON, he served as the Director of Community Affairs at Humane Society Naples and Communications Director for Artis—Naples. A Naples resident since 2003, Foerster came to the area as a reporter for the Naples Daily News and later served as Executive Editor of Gulfshore Life magazine.

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled by the opportunity to lead CMON,” Foerster said. “In the ten years since it opened, the museum has provided a valuable resource for children and families, helping spur educational growth in a relaxed, fun environment. I am excited to keep moving that mission forward.”

Hancock led CMON as CEO through one of the more difficult chapters in the organization’s history—a coupling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of long-time leader Karysia Demarest. As she transitions to a new role in the for-profit sector, Hancock was a perfect choice for newly formed advisory board, which will provide high-level fundraising and policy advice and support to the CMON board and leadership.

“From our first weeks in Naples, it was clear to my family that CMON is a big part of what makes this community special,” Hancock said. “I’m excited to help this great organization as it builds into the future.”

In addition to the personnel changes, CMON is announcing a special week of 10th anniversary celebrations starting March 28, culminating with a special day for members and donors on April 3. For the entire week, all admissions will be $10 per person. (Admission discounts including those for first responders, teachers, and the $2 EBT card holder tickets are still available.) Special activities for kids featuring the best books, art projects, and more from CMON’s history will be presented throughout the week.

On Sunday, April 3, the museum will be open only to members and invited donors. Founding donors and all former board members and staff members are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Director of Philanthropy Laura Bright at or 239-260-1604.

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About the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (CMON)
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples is a brain-building powerhouse and Southwest Florida’s first museum devoted for children and families to learn through play. With hands-on exhibit galleries, the accessible museum invites visitors of all ages to journey through the swamps of the Everglades, weave through a maze, climb a two-story banyan tree, or experiment with the water play station. Children can become a weather forecaster, a farmer, a chef, a fisherman, an artist, an architect or a veterinarian; explore the cold of an igloo, the whoosh of the wind, the sound of the sea, and the effects of gravity. Throughout the day special activities encourage our guests to get involved, try something new and be energized. CMON offers a variety of interactive exhibits providing kids with education, play, learning, science, technology, engineering, inventions, space exploration, art, math, storybooks, creation, building, sensory, and child development.

Contact: Alexa Nargi
Senior Manager of Marketing and Engagement
Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples
239-260-1709 |

Jonathan Foerster, CMON’s new Chief Executive Officer