Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 26, 2013

Face of children's museum resigns

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — John Noonan can be spotted anywhere at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum, whether he’s fixing an exhibit, reading books out loud during story time, or even cleaning bathrooms.

Noonan, who’s served as the museum’s executive director for 11 years, will leave the position Jan. 17.

“He’s the number one voice and cheerleader for the museum,” said Nick Trahair, president of the museum’s board of trustees.

Noonan oversaw the museum’s move from downtown Traverse City to Elmwood Township, and under his leadership attendance at the museum increased each year, Trahair said.

Noonan is expected to stay on as a board member of the Discovery Center Great Lakes, a water-focused community resource of which the museum and several other nonprofits are members.

“He’s amazing,” said Mike Wills, the chair of the Discovery Center Great Lakes Board. “He grabs a hold of things and gets them done. He’s very dependable and thorough and is a tremendous resource.”

Trahair also praised Noonan for his promotion of the museum’s PLUS Program, which helps underprivileged children come to the museum.

“As board president, I’m very proud that we’re able to provide those needed funds to help others experience that touching and learning,” Trahair said.

The museum board will begin the search for a new director Jan. 1, Trahair said. In the meantime, museum administrator Martha Balfour will serve as interim director.

Noonan could not be reached Tuesday. His future plans are unknown.