MUSEUMOPS


Rich Cherry

Design | Build | Lead

About Photo

Hi, I’m Rich Cherry,
A non-profit leader, skilled in building design,
construction, operations, technology, and all things digital
and Conference Co-Chair at MuseWeb

I offer consulting services that leverage my 20 years in non-profits along with 30 years of technology and operations experience. I have served as an executive director, COO, deputy director, CTO and CIO at several world class organizations. I have run and revitalized existing institutions and designed and built new museums and non-profits from the ground up and have overseen more than $300 million in construction and capital projects. My work as co-chair of the largest museum technology conference and as co-editor of its proceedings gives me unique access to colleagues working at the forefront of innovation in the cultural sector.

Résumé

Services

Work Experience

Modern Operations
Founding Principal, 2016-Present

I am a founding principal at Modern Operations, a start-up, operations, and construction consultancy serving non-profits. Modern Operations assists clients who are implementing world-class public architecture projects, and who seek strategic planning support around operations. We take advantage of the newest technology to maximize every dollar invested. Projects include overseeing the construction, core exhibit development, and start-up operations of the new Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Museum; acting as owners’ design representative for The Albright-Knox Art Museum expansion project; and ongoing support for The Broad museum. We also supported the opening operations of the Marciano Art Foundation. For the Academy Museum, I helped obtain a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies for Digital Engagement.

The Broad | Broad Art Foundation
Founding Deputy Director, 07/12-01/17

I was the deputy director of The Broad, an award-winning contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles. The museum opened to rave reviews in 2015 and immediately joined the list of the top 75 most attended art museums in the world. I oversaw all aspects of the museum’s operations, including operations, human resources, technology, finance, facilities, security, marketing, collections management, and visitor services. Prior to the museum’s opening, I managed the planning, design, and construction of the $200 million museum, its parking structure, and adjacent outdoor plaza and streetscape. I also hired the staff for the opening, and developed and implemented a plan for daily operations. In working with the museum team to design The Broad as an innovative visitor experience, I also initiated and implemented the museum’s mobile ticketing and mobile retail, and a mobile audio app with contextually-aware content. As well, I designed and implemented an award-winning visitor service floor staff program that utilized a custom-designed online learning management system to train a diverse team of associates in security, customer service, art and architecture.

MuseWeb
Partner, 09/11-Present

I am co-chair for MuseWeb (formerly Museums and the Web), the largest annual international museum technology conference. MuseWeb’s delegates—more than 800 per year from more than 40 countries—explore the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of museums in a digital world, reviewing and analyzing the issues and impacts of networked cultural, natural, and scientific heritage. I am also co-editor and publisher of the conference print proceedings, a 300-page volume, representing the best digital work of the year in museums from around the world and highlighting the use of new technologies in the museum context.

Benbough Foundation: Balboa Park Online Collaborative Project
Founding Director, 03/09-5/12

As the Founding Director of the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC), a collaborative of 27 museums, cultural institutions, sciences centers and performing arts organizations. I facilitated collaborations and acted as a CIO at large for a diverse group of museums, working with staff representatives from executive directors and curators to technical staff. Building BPOC from an idea to a reality in a 3-year period, I managed operating and project budgets of more than $5,000,000, raising all of the funding for the projects BPOC executed. These various cultural heritage technology projects included website redevelopment and content management, collections management, digitization and digital asset management, networking and wireless, technical support, intern and mentoring programs, and mobile app and game development. During my tenure BPOC’s ultimate goal was to create sustainable communities around each of these project areas and to engage and educate the member organizations in the use of technology to achieve their mission-related goals.

Skirball Cultural Center
Director of Operations, 10/06-03/09

I led several departments including Information Technology, Admissions, Facilities, Security, Office Services, Porters, Call Center, and Operations. In total, I directed 60 staff plus outside contractors, and provided construction planning and management for a 200,000-square-foot facility on a 16-acre campus. I also managed capital projects and new construction, including an 180,000-square-foot subterranean parking garage and a 40,000-square-foot conference center. I oversaw an annual operational budget of $2.5 million, a capital budget of $1.5 million and construction budgets of $75 million. Major accomplishments included developing a business case, program, and re-design for a new 40,000-square-foot conference center; ramping up admissions for the opening Noah’s Ark, a new award-winning children’s museum which increased center attendance by 500% per day; a major server consolidation project; implementations of new Membership management and Ticketing systems; migration of the website to a Joomla based CMS; and implementation of a campuswide, customer-facing wireless network.

The Guggenheim Museum
Chief Information Officer & Director of Facilities & Museum Library & Archives, 7/03-10/06

Reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, I directed and managed the Department of Information Technology, the Facilities Department, and the Department of Library and Archive Services. Duties included supervision of 30 staff members as well as outside contractors supporting 300 museum employees in several locations globally; managing an operational and capital budget of $5 million+; long-range strategic planning; grant writing; technology planning; infrastructure management; and construction and project management. User surveys after my first 18 months indicated that 75% of users noted improvements, with 30% reporting significant improvements, meeting my mandate to refocus the departments and dramatically improve performance and productivity museum wide, with IT Help Desk calls reduced by 40%. I reorganized staff in departments under my supervision and implemented a training program to allow department staff to better support the museums needs.
I also Managed the recovery effort from a major fire in the museum business offices that displaced 130 staff members and supervised the construction of new office space. Other responsibilities included managing a $27 million dollar restoration of the Guggenheim’s iconic Frank Lloyd Wright building in New York; optimizing the museum’s use of Raisers Edge (the primary fundraising application); implementation of a digital asset management system; migration to online timesheets; and implementation of a full feature Intranet and integration of Visitor and Retail systems with the back office financial system.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Chief Technology Officer, 1/99-7/03

Reporting to the Museum Director, I directed and managed the department of Information Services, which consists of Information Technology, Library & Archive Services, and the Image Resource Center. Duties included supervision of 9 staff members; operational and capital budgeting; long-range strategic planning; grant writing; technology planning; and project management. During my tenure, I wrote numerous grants and secured nearly $1 million in funding for museum projects. Additionally, website traffic increased from 100,000 visitors annually to more than 2 million.

State University of New York at Buffalo
Adjunct Instructor, 7/01-6/03

Instruct graduate and undergraduate courses, providing an introduction to the theoretical aspects and practical skills used in the development of digital media.

HSBC Americas
Senior Technical Analyst, 8/97-1/99

American Sigma
Information Systems Manager, 1/95-8/97

Allstar Computer Systems
Field Service Engineer, 7/94-1/95

Offshore Diving and Salvaging
OCT 2013 - june 2015

Commercial Diver, 1/92-6/94
OCT 2013 - june 2015

United States Marine Corps
Sgt | Telephone/Switchboard Technician, 1986-1992

Community Contributions

Professional Activities
MuseWeb(formerly Museums and the Web): Conference Co-Chair (2011-present)
National Science Foundation funded Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance STEM Program: Project advisor (2013-2016)
Institute of Museum and Library Services: Museums for America Grant Reviewer (2014)
Institute of Museum and Library Services: National Leadership Grant Reviewer (2013)
American Association of Museums: National Program Committee Member (2011)
Magnetic Museums: Advisory Committee Member (2011-13)
Digital Public Library of America: Content Workstream Convening Member (2011-13)
Museum Computer Network (www.mcn.edu ): Board of Directors, Treasurer, Executive Committee member (2008-11)
AAM MUSE Awards (http://www.mediaandtechnology.org/muse/ ): Juror (2010)
T3: Text, Tagging and Trust (http://tinyurl.com/texttaggingtrust ): Working Group member
Fluid Engage Project (wiki.fluidproject.org ): Advisory Panel member
Steve.Museum (www.steve.museum ): Co-Founder, Steering committee (2006-08)
Museums and The Web: Program Committee (2005-08)
Albright-Knox Art Gallery: Volunteer Docent (2002-03)
InfoTech Niagara: Workforce Development Committee (2002-03)
ITT Technical Institute: Program Advisory Board (2002-03)
Art Museum Image Consortium: Chair of the Technical Committee (2002-03)
WNED: Lifelong Digital Learning Service Advisory Committee (2002-03)

Publications
MuseWeb 2019: Selected Papers from an International Conference, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web. (forthcoming April 2019)
Museums and the Web 2018: Selected Papers from an International Conference, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web.
Museums and the Web 2017: Selected Papers from an International Conference, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web.
Museums and the Web 2016: Selected Papers from Two International Conferences, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web.
Museums and the Web 2015: Selected Papers from Three International Conferences, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web.
Cherry, R. (2014). The Broad: A new Art Museum in the Digital Age. In Museums and the Web Asia 2014, Proceedings. N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web.
Museums and the Web 2014 and Museums and the Web Asia 2013: Selected Papers from Two International Conferences. N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web.
Museums and the Web 2013: Selected Papers, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web.
Museums and the Web 2012: Selected Papers, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web.
Cherry, R. (2011). Collaboration, Dark Fiber and the Challenges of Deploying Mobile Infrastructure. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2011: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics.
Proctor, N. et al. (2011) Getting on (not under) the Mobile 2.0 Bus. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2011: Selected Papers from an International Conference. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics.
Cherry, R. (2010). A Walk in the Park: The Balboa Park Online Collaborative, First Year Report. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2010: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics.
Edson, M. and Cherry, R. (2010). Museum Commons: Tragedy or Enlightened Self-Interest? In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2010: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics.
Wyman, B. et al. (2006). Steve.museum: An Ongoing Experiment in Social Tagging, Folksonomy, and Museums. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2006: Selected Papers from an International Conference. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics.

Bearman, D., Trant, J., et al. (2005). Social Terminology Enhancement through Vernacular Engagement: Exploring Collaborative Annotation to Encourage Interaction with Museum Collections. D-Lib Magazine, 11(9).
Presentations
Chair: Industry Experts Panel Discussion: Online Collections: Axiell North America West Coast Roadshow 2018
Museum As Startup, Agenda: Communicating the Museum Conference 2017
Opening Keynote: Museums and the Web: 20 years of Museum Technology. SITEM 2016
Closing Keynote: The Broad: A new Art Museum in the Digital Age. Museums and the Web Asia 2014
The Future of Ticketing: Solutions for Museums of All Sizes. American Association of Museums annual conference 2014
Assessing Tools and Best Practices for Email Preservation and Access in Art Museums, a special session at Museums and the Web 2014
Keynote: Collaboration in a Digital Age. Midterm Event: Continuous Access To Cultural Heritage (CATCH), Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research 2013
What’s a Museum Technologist today? Museums and the Web 2013
Keynote: The Future of Museums. Balboa Park Central Annual Meeting 2012
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: Digital Age Collaborations. American Association of Museums annual conference 2012
How to Pitch Technology to your Board: Strategy to Implementation. American Association of Museums annual conference 2012
Making Mobile Part of THE Strategy. Museum Computer Network Conference 2011
Managing Multilingual Content. Museum Computer Network Conference 2011
Mobile Governance workshop. Smithsonian Institution 2011
Collaboration that Works: 2 Years in Balboa Park—a case study about collaborative projects at Balboa Park. Museum Computer Network Conference 2011
Backup, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity and the Cloud. Museum Computer Network Conference 2011
Collaboration and Dark Fiber. Museums and the Web 2011
Go Multilingual: Tools, Tricks, and Trends for Presenting Museum Content to Everyone. American Association of Museums annual conference 2011
Exploring a Leverage-Model: Digital Technology, Professional Development, and Microfunding. American Association of Museums annual conference 2011
Jump Start Digital Work in Your Institution: An Interactive Planning Session. American Association of Museums annual conference 2010
Innovative Technology: Breaking Down Barriers Between the Physical and Virtual Museum. American Association of Museums annual conference 2010
Museum Commons: Tragedy or Enlightened Self-Interest? (Professional Forum). Museums and the Web 2010
A Walk in the Park: The Balboa Park Online Collaborative, First Year Report. Museums and the Web 2010
Balboa Park Online Collaborative: An Overview. Museum Computer Network California Special Interest Group and California Association of Museums joint meeting 2009
Tag You're It: A dialog between social tagging and traditional classification. Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society for Information Annual Workshop 2008
Steve: Folksonomy in the Museum. Museums and the Web 2006
Steve: A Tool for Exploring Folksonomy in the Museum. Museum Computer Network Conference 2005
Cataloguing by Crowd (Professional Forum). Museums and the Web 2005

Rich is a passionate, entrepreneurial leader who energizes his staff to work hard and think big to make incredible projects come to life.

Maren Dougherty

VP of Communications and Visitor Experience
Autry Museum of the American West

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