The president and CEO of The Strong is retiring after nearly three decades at the Rochester museum devoted to the study and history of play.
G. Rollie Adams told The Strong’s Executive Committee last December that he will leave his role at the end of 2016 to spend more time with his family. Adams will remain as a consultant to assist the museum with fundraising and strategic development.
Adams is regarded by his Strong colleagues and by museum professionals across the country as a visionary. He oversaw two major building expansions during his tenure which nearly doubled the size of the museum to 285,000 square feet, making it one of the country’s largest history museums. Adams also spearheaded major initiatives including the acquisition of the National Toy Hall of Fame, World Video Game Hall of Fame, and International Center for the History of Electronic Games.
“I cannot imagine how any museum position anywhere could have been more fun and rewarding than the one I have been fortunate to experience at The Strong these many years,” Adams said. “I am enormously grateful to a host of colleagues on the board and the staff and in this community and elsewhere for their recognition of the value of our educational mission and for their encouragement and support on the strategic journey we have been undertaking together. There is significant additional need and opportunity for the museum to extend its mission in the future, and I am excited that I will be able to contribute toward that in a new capacity while having more time for family and pursuing other interests to which I have been looking forward for quite a while.”
After an extensive search for Adams’ replacement, The Strong’s Executive Committee tapped Steven M Dubnik to assume the role of president and CEO as of January 1, 2017. Dubnik has been a member of The Strong’s Board of Trustees since 2000 and has served as chairperson since 2014. He resigned as board chairman last month to pursue the CEO position. Dubnik is currently CEO of Lexifone Communications System and his resume includes past leadership roles with telecommunications start-ups such as OnCell, NYSYS Wireless LLC, and Choice One Communications.
“Rollie Adams is a leader whose vision and commitment have been instrumental in the growth of The Strong,” says Laura Saxby Lynch, director of corporate communications at Paychex and chairperson of The Strong’s board of trustees. “When looking for our next CEO, the board of trustees took seriously its obligation to identify a leader who will build on our foundation of growth and guide the institution into the future. With his leadership experience, knowledge of The Strong, and his passion for the organization, we are confident that Steve is the right person to take on this integral role.”
The Strong attracts an average of more than 550,000 visitors from across the U.S. and other countries each year and has been named a top American family attraction by multiple publications.