See you later
"We will miss her, but we are happy and proud of her. We wouldn't be in such a good place if she hadn't worked so hard at the museum," said Alex Bell.
Bell, president of the Kidsenses Children's Museum board of directors, and many other friends of the museum attended a reception on Thursday to wish Jessica Moss, former executive director of the museum, well in her new career. Moss, who was named director in 2010, left the museum in July to become the director of development with the American Heart Association's Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Office.
"I'm going to be working with volunteer teams in Cleveland and Catawba County to raise money for the American Heart Association (AHA). Our mission is to eradicate cardiovascular disease and stroke. I will be working out of the Charlotte office, but traveling throughout those communities," Moss said.
Moss made the connection with the AHA during her time working at the museum. She served as the emcee of the Cleveland County Heart Ball for the last three years. The ball is a year-long campaign to raise funds for cardiovascular and stroke research.
"When I was approached about this job, it was really unexpected. But that's how life is I guess," Moss said. "It felt like a good fit because it is working with a much bigger organization and doing a lot of the things that I love doing so much at Kidsenses. But it's also doing that work in smaller communities. That made the opportunity too good to pass up."
Moss began working at Kidsenses in 2008 as its programs and exhibits coordinator and was promoted to director of programs and exhibits in 2009. Moss said she has no plans to relocate at this time.
"I'm commuting and telecommuting for now. I'm still in Rutherford County. My family is here and we're very close. I could not have done the job I did at the museum without my family," Moss said. "My parents in particular have been really great. The museum is very special to all of us. No matter where I am, I always want to continue supporting it because it's so magical and special."
Moss said she will miss the museum and the people who have made it special.
"I'm going to miss being able to see so many of my Rutherford County friends and family who have become parents and grandparents during the time I was there and being able to see them play in the museum with them," Moss said. "It's such a joy to be here and see so many people become parents and fully realize the national treasure that we have in our little community and take advantage of it."
The Kidsenses board of directors has started the process of its search for the next museum director.
"The museum was so fortunate to have Jessica as director. She took Kidsenses to the next level and the work she has done with the museum will serve children for years to come," said Joseph Knight, director of education at the museum. "But since the transition, the museum hasn't missed a beat. Things are going well and strong."
Moss said she wants to continue to visit and help the museum as much as possible.
"This isn't goodbye, it's see you later," Moss said.