Frank Steslow, President
President of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Frank Steslow, has over 30 years of experience as a scientist and executive manager in science-based, non-profit organizations, including eight years as the museum’s chief operating officer. Prior to being appointed president, Steslow was responsible over the last eight years for the overall operations for the museum in the areas of finance, communications, marketing, exhibits, environmental conservation, public programming and visitor services as the museum’s chief operating officer. Before joining the museum, Steslow was CEO of the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania where he led the institution’s expansion and successful opening of its new science center.
Steslow has spent the majority of his career directing the aquatic science, education, exhibition development and operations of public aquaria. He has held executive leadership positions at the Florida Aquarium and New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences including five years as the Academy’s COO. His previous positions have included directing water quality, pathology and animal health laboratories, animal husbandry operations, aquatic life support systems, aquatic research/conservation efforts, educational programming and exhibition development. He has been involved in the construction and startup of several new facilities and major exhibition expansions.
Steslow’s research interests have included investigations into applied water quality management of closed seawater systems. He has developed several artificial seawater formulas including two that have been commercially produced, and early in his career, led the aquarium industry understanding of the control and use of ozone in marine life support systems. Before his career in public aquaria, Steslow worked as an environmental consultant in Pennsylvania, as an environmental scientist for the State of Florida and as a biological scientist for The National Marine Fisheries Service in the Bering Sea. He received a M.S. degree in environmental health and science from the University of South Florida where he researched uses of ozone and U.V. light to remove pathogenic bacteria and toxins from shellfish. He also holds a B.S. degree in microbiology from Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham, Chief Science Officer
Dr. Eldredge “Biff” Bermingham, former Director and Senior Scientist for the Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Institute, oversees all science content and scientific research, and ensures the accuracy of science throughout every aspect of the museum’s planning and development of exhibits, programs, and publications.
Dr. Bermingham comes to Miami following more than two decades with the Smithsonian Institution, where he served in several scientific research and executive roles. He most recently led the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, which is one of the world’s leading centers for investigating biological diversity. There, he oversaw a budget valued at $35 million annually and supervised a resident staff of 400 people, along with 1,400 visiting scientists.
Dr. Bermingham’s career includes a number of research and academic posts at some of the world’s top universities and institutes. He has held a professorship at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and has also served as an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University. He has published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed publications around the world and edited the book, “Tropical Rainforests: Past, Present and Future.” He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a PhD in genetics from the University of Georgia.
G. Trevor Powers, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Operations
Trevor Powers joined the New Museum in team the summer of 2013. He is responsible for developing the facility operational program and will manage the program following construction of the new museum. This program includes the operation & maintenance of the building’s architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as specialty systems such as the interactive exhibits and the life support systems for the aquarium tanks. Trevor will also oversee the start-up and commissioning of the building systems prior to completion of building construction.
Trevor’s engineering career began in the U.S. Navy where he served as a submarine nuclear power plant operator and quality assurance inspector. Trevor was responsible for operating and maintaining all mechanical systems related to the submarine’s nuclear plant including reactor safety systems, reactor coolant systems, steam turbines for power generation & propulsion, emergency power generation systems, filtration systems, etc. In addition, Trevor was responsible for the operation & maintenance of the submarine’s auxiliary systems such as the HVAC, water distillation, bearing lubrication & seawater coolant systems.
Prior to joining the new museum team, Trevor was the Director of Technical Operations for an engineering services firm headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Services provided by Trevor and his team included system & building commissioning, energy modeling/auditing & management, sustainability consulting, indoor air quality assessments & remediation, building forensics and facility operation & maintenance. Clients included state and federal agencies as well as major universities and corporations located throughout the United States.
Trevor holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Certificate in Management Essentials from Emory University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Florida & Alabama. He is also a Certified Energy Manager and LEED Accredited Professional.
Ron Nuce, Senior Vice President, Guest Experience and Marketing
Ron Nuce brings nearly twenty years of experience in leading sales for non-profit organizations across the US. Prior to joining the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Nuce served as vice president of guest experience and sales for the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Nuce led a team of 175 employees that was responsible for Shedd’s revenue growth, improved guest satisfaction and increased customer engagement, with more than 2.1 million guests each year. In 2012, under his lead, Shedd Aquarium was positioned as Chicago’s most-attended cultural attraction and the most-attended aquarium in the United States.
Prior to joining Shedd, Nuce gained recognition as national sales manager for Hallmark Cards where he was issued the award as a top performer for 5 consecutive years. After working in sales and retail for the private sector, he felt passionate about applying his experience in the non-profit world, and joined the zoo and aquarium industry as director of sales for the Philadelphia Zoo and director of sales and admissions at the New Jersey State Aquarium. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from West Virginia University.
Dr. Judy Brown, Senior Vice President Education, Emerita
Dr. Judy Brown, Senior Vice President of Education for the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, serves as the Executive Director of the Museum’s Center for Interactive Learning, a joint venture with the University of Miami to strengthen the connection between informal science education and the research community.
Dr. Brown has played a leadership role nationally in broadening participation of underserved groups in STEM and has received many prestigious awards. She is a recipient of the 2005 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, our nation’s highest honor for mentoring, and the 2005 Eleanor Roosevelt Award from AAUW.
Currently, Judy is the lead PI for the Institute of Education Science- funded Early Childhood Hands-on Science Efficacy Study, a randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness in advancing school readiness with 90 Head Start Centers in Miami-Dade County.
Brooks Weisblat, Vice President of Technology
Brooks Weisblat has been with the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science for 18 years and currently manages the Museum’s technology infrastructure, website development projects and leads technology research and planning to keep the Museum’s technology current, efficient and within budget.
Prior to working for the Museum, Brooks worked for The Florida State University and Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University teaching Biology and Computer classes as well as managing computer labs and audio/visual installations.
In the local community Brooks is a Leadership Miami Graduate, has assisted Kristi House and Junior League of Miami with their website and technology needs as well as served on the Technology Advisory Board for Keiser College.
Brooks has Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL and also did postgraduate studies in Viral Immunology at University of Miami in Miami, Florida.
Jennifer Santer, Vice President, Content Development & Programs
Jennifer Santer is responsible for developing content and approaches consistent with the Museum’s mission, vision and values, and for overseeing content delivery through Public Programs. In this capacity, she works with other key staff to develop and test new content and delivery approaches, using the current facility as a platform for experimentation for the new Museum.
Before joining the new Museum team, Jennifer spent eight years securing funding and managing the Museum’s award-winning federally funded education programs.
Prior to joining the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in 1999, Jennifer worked for ten years as an international development specialist for Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), a consulting firm based in Washington D.C. At DAI, she was responsible for designing and managing multi-year economic assistance projects throughout Africa, Asia, and the former Soviet Union, with an emphasis on micro-enterprise, small business development, gender issues, and information dissemination. Jennifer holds a Master’s Degree in Geography/International Development from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Resource Management from San Diego State University. In 2013, Jennifer was selected to be a Noyce Leadership Fellow for the Noyce Foundation.
Andy Dehart, Vice President of Animal Husbandry
Andy Dehart has more than 20 years of experience in animal husbandry at several major public aquariums throughout North America. As VP of Animal Husbandry he oversees all animal husbandry operations, aquatic life support operations, and wildlife rehabilitation programs and manages a talented animal care staff that are dedicated to the welfare of the animal collection.
Prior to joining the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Andy helped build and open the new Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada as the Director of Husbandry. This highly successful facility opened in Toronto at the base of the CN Tower in the fall of 2013. Before moving to Canada he spent much of his career working for the National Aquarium in both their Baltimore and Washington, D.C. locations. It was at the National Aquarium as a high school student selling tickets, that he realized animal husbandry was the perfect outlet for his lifelong passion for marine life. Throughout his tenure there he worked in many capacities and left as Director of Fishes and Aquatic Invertebrates. In addition, he was part of the opening team as an aquarist at the Kingdom of the Seas Aquarium at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska.
Andy’s knowledge of sharks has led him to serve as Shark Advisor for Discovery Channel, and has made a number of high-profile media appearances including The Today Show, The Early Show, NBC Nightly News, Larry King Live, Fox News, USA Today, The O’Reilly Factor and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. He has been featured in seven Shark Week productions for Discovery Channel. In addition, Andy is a member of the Board of Trustees for REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation), a Key Largo based non-profit organization committed to getting recreational divers involved in citizen science through active surveying of fish abundance and diversity.
Xavier Cortesano, VP of Exhibition Project Management & Design
Born in Argentina and raised and schooled in Australia, Xavier Cortesano became part of the Frost Science team in November 2015 and is responsible for managing the process for exhibition development, coordinating internal and external design teams, overseeing the fabrication and installation of exhibits and any other fit-out components in to the new museum.
His earlier work with Grimshaw Architects, the firm that designed the museum, gave him a familiarity with Frost Science, and he previously worked with Oceanis Aquariums developing public aquariums in locations as far ranging as Paris, Toronto and Mexico. Additionally, Cortesano managed forecasting and feasibility studies for Village Roadshow Cinema expansion in Argentina, and owned a property management business for holiday homes in Lake Como, Italy. He studied architecture in Argentina and fashion design in Australia.