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Keiper given bonus

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Virginia Museum of Natural History Executive Director Joe Keiper received a 5 percent salary bonus from the museum’s trustee board on Saturday.

The board unanimously approved the approximately $5,525, one-time bonus after a closed session called to discuss a personnel issue, specifically Keiper’s annual evaluation.

The bonus was included in the current fiscal year’s budget, officials said.

Chairman Melissa Neff Gould of Danville said the entire board has been “very pleased” with Keiper’s work, as well as leadership he has shown in community affairs, during the past year.

Keiper said his annual salary is “just a shade over” $110,000. The bonus will be in addition to that.

Working for the museum is “something I’m proud of,” Keiper said.

Keiper has been the museum’s top administrator for about 31?2 years. He previously was director of science and curator of invertebrate zoology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio.

Also Saturday, the trustees learned that for the fiscal year that ended June 30, total revenues for the museum were $3,224,785 and total expenditures were $3,048,115.

Those amounts were 99 percent and 95 percent, respectively, of the fiscal year’s budget of $3,259,696, a report showed.

For fiscal 2013, admissions income totaled $31,273, which was 22 percent below the $40,000 budgeted. The lower figure resulted from the museum charging reduced admission prices for most of the year, officials said.

Visitation and admissions income has increased since dinosaur exhibits opened earlier this year, the report showed.

Income from renting museum rooms totaled $3,045, which was 24 percent below the $4,000 budgeted. Due to the dinosaur exhibits, the museum has had less space in its Great Hall to accommodate large groups, officials said.

The trustees also learned that:

• 205 students were served in 17 camps in which the museum was involved this summer. The museum developed 11 of those camps itself, according to Education and Public Programs Director Denny Casey.

It was “a phenomenal summer,” he said.

Trustee Monica Monday of Martinsville said her son participated in a “mad scientist” camp and he told her “it was awesome!”

• The number of “corporate partners” — business and organizations that provide financial support to the museum — recently has risen from 10 to more than 40.

Deputy Director Ryan Barber said the museum is working harder to make contacts with companies.

• “Reptile Day,” one of the museum’s most popular annual special events, will be Sept. 21.


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