The Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia has once again named a new CEO.
John Brady will replace John Gazzola who had been in the top spot for just 10 months.
Brady has been a shipbuilder for decades, most recently working in the Seaport Museum’s boat-building workshop. He has risen to the top position during a difficult time. The museum has been operating with a deficit for years, it has had four CEOs in five years, and it has not yet recovered from the embezzlement scandal that put a former CEO in federal prison.
“Visitation drives everything else,” said Brady about his plans for the museum. “If people are coming to see you for whatever reason, the community thinks you’re worth investing in.”
Brady wants to take advantage of the museum location, on the Delaware River next to a boat basin and right on a dock that can accommodate historic ships.
This summer, schooners will visit and tall ships will take guests out on the water and allow them to work the rigging.
“We’ll have the Kalmar Nyckle, a ship based in Wilmington that brought the first Swedes here. It’s the perfect picture of a pirate ship,” said Brady. “The A.J Meerwald will be in and out–that’s an oyster boat from Delaware Bay that does programming about the ecology of the river.”
Brady said the experience of being on the river will make the exhibitions inside the museum more relevant. The museum will also proactively rent out its 600-seat concert hall to make use of the space during inclement seasons.