The Da Vinci Science Center announced today that Judy Belaires, CFRE, has returned to the organization to serve as its Director of Philanthropy and Special Assistant to the CEO.
In her newly-created position, Belaires is responsible for the organization’s annual fundraising program and play a senior leadership role in fundraising efforts for the proposed $130 million Da Vinci Science City project.
Belaires served as Vice President of Advancement for Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley from Dec. 2014-Jan. 2017. She had been a member of the Da Vinci Science Center fundraising staff from 2004-2014 and was the organization’s Director of Advancement and Community Relations from 2012-2014. Among her achievements was the creation of the Center’s Leonardo Society – its annual giving society for top individual donors – along with successful solicitations of several high-profile exhibit, program, and event sponsorships.
The Da Vinci Science Center appointed Jenifer Gilio as Chief Philanthropy Officer in Jan. 2017.
“We are delighted that Judy Belaires is bringing her talents, passion, extensive knowledge of the Lehigh Valley region, and exceptional relationship-building skills back to the Da Vinci Science Center,” said Lin Erickson, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO. “Together, Jenifer and Judy will be a dynamite team, allowing the Center to expand its fundraising capacity to support the growing demand for hands-on science learning in our community today and in the future.”
Belaires has been President of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) since 2015, and is a member of the chapter’s Board of Directors for the last seven years. She earned accreditation as a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) from AFP in 2012.
The Da Vinci Science Center announced in Nov. 2016 a one-year partnership with the City of Easton to explore the feasibility of creating the proposed Da Vinci Science City near the city’s waterfront. The proposed complex, which would operate along with the Center’s Allentown facility, would include a state-of-the-art science center with permanent and traveling exhibit galleries, the largest public aquarium in Pennsylvania, a Creativity Studio public workshop space, an immersive giant screen theater, and a destination aquarium restaurant and event center.
The Da Vinci Science Center’s Allentown facility would be re-focused over time as a Children’s Discovery Center for children ages 8 and under. The organization also intends to expand its outreach programming throughout eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey.