As we begin a new year, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum is making changes to the employees representing their organization. Jarrad Bittner and Michael Wartgow now support the team at The Building for Kids as the executive director and chief operating officer.
“I decided to go into nonprofit administration because I wanted a job that would make a positive impact on as many lives as possible,” says Bittner. “The Building for Kids has been around for over 20 years and reaches over 100,000 community members every year. Through this position, I have the opportunity to reach children, parents and grandparents. There aren’t many organizations that have the ability to impact as many lives and generations as The Building for Kids.”
Bittner graduated from Lawrence University in 2010 and began teaching at Lawrence shortly after. He started his position at The Building for Kids Children’s Museum on Oct. 27, 2014.
As executive director, Bittner is responsible for a range of tasks. “As with any employee of a small nonprofit organization, I look forward to wearing several different hats each day. I will be meeting with board members to discuss the long-term strategic plans of the organization and I will also be helping to clean classrooms after field trips,” says Bittner.
Wartgow worked as the facilities manager before moving up to his position as chief operating officer. He completed studies in art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.
“Studying art allowed me to see life through a diverse lens as I was exposed to curriculum rich in multicultural theories and ideas. It gave me the strength to
take criticism, seek new challenges and inspired me to look for creative opportunities in which to engage the community,” says Wartgow.
In his new role, Wartgow will be directing day-to-day operations, including managing the operational budget and overseeing museum staff and programs.
“My work with the museum began with my desire to work for an organization that was tied directly to the community. This desire stemmed from my family, particularly my son. The Building for Kids’ mission reflects the beliefs of my family, so I was naturally drawn to the organization,” says Wartgow.
Stop by The Building for Kids Children’s Museum and enjoy the exciting programs put together with the help of Bittner and Wartgow.
—By Jessica Morgan