Amid a major facility and mission expansion, the National Eagle Center in Wabasha has named a Louisville, Ky., fundraising consultant with experience leading and serving cultural, arts, conservation and educational institutions, as its next leader.
Meg Gammage-Tucker, who for the past eight years served as president and CEO of Build 4 Impact, Inc., a Louisville-based consulting firm specializing in management, strategic planning, marketing and capital campaign services for environmentally-related organizations, replaces the center’s long-time executive director, Rolf Thompson, who retired on October 31.
Gammage-Tucker’s academic achievements include a BS in sociology from Illinois State University along with Master’s degrees in public administration and museum science and a PhD in public administration from Texas Tech University. She was unanimously approved by the center’s board of directors to fill the position starting on January 2, 2020.
Randy Eggenberger, retired owner of Lake City-based Wild Wings and Chair of the center’s board, said Gammage-Tucker was chosen over a very strong slate of experienced managers of cultural institutions from Minnesota and other states. Eggenberger noted, “With the expansion of our mission, our campus — and a capital campaign to raise millions underway — adding Meg’s experience managing operational, strategic and fundraising aspects of a nonprofit together in one person is a real plus for the National Eagle Center.”
In May last year, the center was awarded an $8-million grant by the state of Minnesota toward the cost of an $18-million-plus building expansion to include a museum for the Preston Cook Collection. The collection encompasses more than 25,000 items reflecting the eagle’s impact on American life, art and culture from the American Revolution to the present. It was gifted to the center by long-time San Francisco collector, Preston Cook, who built the one-of-a-kind collection over more than 50 years. The state award bolsters an expansion that in addition to adding a museum will broaden the center’s educational mission of connecting people across the world with the symbol and significance of eagles in American history. The newly-expanded National Eagle Center will provide distinctive interactive learning experiences based on the unique majestic nature of eagles to inspire a stronger commitment to environmental responsibility and personal growth.