From Exhibits to Executive Finance: A Decade of Dedication with Liam Cawley and Lisa Mottola

Post Author: Amanda Coletti
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Liam Cawley

Exhibit Specialist

What is your favorite memory of the Connecticut Science Center?

Watching the first tractor trailer loaded with exhibits pull into the loading dock during a snowstorm in early 2009.

What is your favorite exhibit/event (past or current) at the Connecticut Science Center?

Table-top puzzles in Invention Dimension. I love watching people of all ages work though these. Sometimes they get frustrated.That means they’re engaged!

What are some changes you’ve noticed at the Connecticut Science Center over the past 10 years?

While we’ve obviously grown and expanded our offerings and services, what I see as amazing is the lack of change with regards to so many staff members. We’ve had so many people who have been here for so many years because they love where they work, what they do, who they’re working with, and are vested in continually elevating the Science Center’s game.

How has your role at the Connecticut Science Center evolved over the past 10 years? 

For the first several years, my role was to simply keep the brand new exhibits from falling apart due to the onslaught of hundreds of thousands of visitors. Now that our department has somewhat mastered that skill, we’ve begun to develop our own exhibits in-house from the ground up. As far as exhibits go, we’ve started to really own our product and make it uniquely the Connecticut Science Center. That’s exciting! 

What are you most looking forward to seeing happen at the Connecticut Science Center in the next upcoming 10 years?

I’m personally looking forward to developing new exhibits and continuing to try to wow our audience. I’m also looking forward to watching what other departments are doing toward that end. There are a lot of people with a lot of passion here and I’m excited to see what we as the Connecticut Science Center do.

 

Lisa Mottola 

Chief Financial Officer 

I’m responsible for the financials, investments & banking, employee benefits, business insurance, and IT support for the Connecticut Science Center. 

 What is your favorite memory of the Connecticut Science Center?

 Watching the transformation of Science Alley and the installation of the rocket outside my office. Watching it swing into place was a bit unnerving to say the least. 

What is your favorite exhibit/event (past or current) at the Connecticut Science Center?

The Butterfly Encounter

What are some changes you’ve noticed at the Connecticut Science Center over the past 10 years?

The evolution of not knowing what to expect (or what we were doing) when the doors opened, to blossoming into a well-oiled machine through a lot of trial, error, hard work, occasional tears and a whole lot of staff dedication.

How has your role at the Connecticut Science Center evolved over the past 10 years? 

I have spent more time than I thought working with lawyers over the years.  Who knew I could have used a law degree? Our attorneys are wonderful people and I have learned a lot from them whether it was the creation of contracts (construction or otherwise), filing for trademarks,  injuries, or a whole host of other conundrums. More importantly though, I became a certified facilitator of Darkness to Light’s prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Molestation training that we provide to all employees.  A far cry from finance, but an extremely important topic that benefits everyone both professionally and personally.

What are you most looking forward to seeing happen at the Connecticut Science Center in the next upcoming 10 years? 

Continued diversity in visitors and staff from all walks of life – representing the wide spectrum of communities, cultures and thought who will push the Connecticut Science Center to the next level of experience. Oh and my retirement.

 

Amanda Coletti is a Communications Research Assistant at the Connecticut Science Center and a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut, where she studies the science behind science communication.