Familiar Face, New Role

In November 2019, Oliver Zornow was named executive director for The Building for Kids Children’s Museum in Appleton. Zornow replaces the museum’s previous director of four years, Jarrad Bittner, who took a position with The Boldt Company. Bittner transitioned out of his role through the month of December. 

Zornow, a Lawrence University graduate, had been serving as the director of community engagement for both the Children’s Museum and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra since 2016 in a half-time capacity for each. He has nine total years of experience with the Children’s Museum, serving in numerous leadership positions. 

As a parent himself, Zornow previously worked in a community that did not have a local children’s museum. He says the experience made him realize the value of community resources that support children and families. In his new role, Zornow’s primary focus is to “empower children, engage parents and energize the community.” He plans to use the skills he developed as community engagement director to continue growing the Children’s Museum. 

“I see us leveraging our unique role and reputation to convene partner agencies and help bring about systemic improvements in the ways our community supports families with young children,” he says. 

Zornow says a key element for the organization’s future success is making sure that youth in the community are given the right tools for play. This will help prepare them for future challenges as well as opportunities. 

Zornow holds innovative and optimistic goals for the future of the Children’s Museum. He says the organization will continue to evaluate the programs and exhibits they offer. Zornow desires to reach every corner of the community. Specifically, Zornow says he wants to “invest in creating deeper experiences that engage everyone, including the under-invited audiences and connect them to their community through play and learning.”

For information on upcoming events and exhibits at The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, visit

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