Wayland resident Neil Gordon honored with 2023 Nonprofit Excellence Award in Leadership

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) announced yesterday that Discovery Museum CEO Neil Gordon was selected winner of the 2023 Nonprofit Excellence Award in Leadership.

The Excellence Award in Leadership recognizes a nonprofit chief or senior executive who has an extraordinary record of organizational results and exemplifies strategic vision, passion, integrity, innovation, perseverance, and a collaborative spirit at an organization that exemplifies the most innovative, creative, and effective work being done throughout the Commonwealth.

As CEO of Discovery Museum, Gordon guided the beloved institution through more than a decade of transformative growth, successfully expanding access for children with disabilities, leading the industry on sustainability, and connecting kids and families with the joy and developmental and mental health benefits of nature play. Motivated by an unwavering commitment to families and to his staff, Gordon, who will retire at the end of 2023, also deftly steered the organization through the pandemic, with the Museum emerging stronger than before.

This year, an independent panel of judges reviewed more than 135 nominations for awards in six categories. The 30 finalists ranged from large education providers to small arts organizations and representED different regions of Massachusetts.


About Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum that blends science, nature, and play, inspiring families to explore and learn together. The museum and its Discovery Woods accessible outdoor nature playscape and 550sf treehouse blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus abutting 180 acres of conservation land in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. Originally founded in 1982 and expanded to two museums in 1987, the museum reopened in a single, 16,000sf accessible building after a complete renovation and expansion in early 2018. Hands-on, open-ended exhibits developed by professional educators inspire curiosity and exploration, providing a fun and engaging experience for children and adults to discover their world together. Serving families and schools from towns throughout the region, the museum is devoted to informal education that enhances classroom learning. Discovery Museum is committed to accessibility, and is a proud recipient of the 2017 Massachusetts Commonwealth Award, the only winner in the Access category, and a 2018 LEAD® Community Asset Award from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, please visit www.discoveryacton.org. Discovery Museum is a community-supported non-profit organization. Discovery Museum programming is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


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