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Exploris President To Step Down

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RALEIGH, N.C. — After one year at the helm of Raleigh's interactive museum, Exploris, the president announced Thursday she will leave her position effective Sept. 1.

In a statement released Thursday, Bonnie Hancock said she is "proud of the progress we've made at Exploris, and Exploris is on a stable course toward success."

Hancock said that she will continue as chair of the board's finance committee and will also serve in an advisory capacity as needed throughout the transition, including acting in an advisory role for the upcoming merger with Raleigh's Playspace museum.

"I was the right person at the right time to make those changes in the business model and get them on firmer financial footing," Hancock told WRAL. "And I think now is probably the right time to get a seasoned museum executive to take it to the next level."

Under Hancock's leadership, the organization cut more than $500,000 in annual expenses, streamlined operations and maximized revenue-generating opportunities with the IMAX theater and fee-based activities, according to a company representative.

Hancock, an experienced finance and chief operating executive, joined Exploris in April 2005.

She has accepted the position of executive director of the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative at North Carolina State University's College of Management.

"The Board had great confidence that Bonnie possessed the ideal skill set to facilitate important changes at Exploris during a difficult time, and that confidence was well-rewarded," said Bill Johnson, the chairman of the Exploris board of directors. "We thank her for providing excellent direction and leadership for the organization and look forward to her continuing efforts for Exploris through her role on the board."

A committee of Exploris and Playspace board members will be organized to conduct a nationwide search to fill the position.

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