The U.S. Marshals Museum on Tuesday announced the hiring of Patrick Weeks as president and CEO, a move organizers said will free current president Jim Dunn from operational responsibilities and allow him to focus on raising money for the project.
Organizers plan to build the 50,000-SF museum on the banks of the Arkansas River in Fort Smith. Last month, the museum named CDI Contractors of Little Rock as the its construction consultant and likely construction manager.
The museum's board hired Weeks after "a national search for a recognized museum professional who could lead the project through design, construction and opening." Dunn will work with Weeks for 90 days starting July 1.
"We are extremely pleased to offer the job of president and CEO to Patrick Weeks," said Judge Jim Spears, chairman of the museum's board. "He has the vision, leadership and experience needed to build on Jim Dunn's success and guide the museum through this important stage of development and beyond."
Weeks is founder and principal of Strategic Experience Solutions of Dublin, Ohio, which focuses on helping museums, science centers and theme attractions through project planning; implementation and oversight; growth; annual budgets; and guest experiences. He has more than 20 years of experience in the industry.
Before SES, Weeks was vice president of Roto, also of Dublin, Ohio, a design and production firm that specializes in experiences for museums and entertainment venues. He also served as vice president of operations and guest experiences for the Arizona Science Center.
"Patrick has played an integral role in the design, construction and exhibit creation of several national entities," said Robert Young, chairman of the museum's foundation. "At the Arizona Science Center, he fostered relationships with corporate sponsors, individual donors and municipal government entities to complete a $24.5 million capital reinvestment project. I'm confident he and Jim Dunn will do the same for the U.S. Marshals Museum to bring this project over the finish line."
CDI Contractors, owned by publicly traded department store chain Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock, is now helping the museum's architects, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects of Little Rock and Cambridge Seven Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts, update the museum's $22 million construction budget.
Dunn told Arkansas Business in May that the process will take several months, and once it's complete, planners will set a timeline for breaking ground based on the project's updated cost and money raised. He said the construction period will last about 16 months.
The museum is expected to open in 2018.
"I'm excited to join the U.S. Marshals Museum and bring to life the stories of the U.S. Marshals Service," Weeks said. "I look forward to building on the foundation that is already in place and moving the project through completion and opening. It's an honor to be part of the creation of a National Learning Center, which will tell the U.S. Marshals Service's story of honor, justice and integrity."