Meet the Team
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KATE ARRIZZA | PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Kate Arrizza hails from a diverse background. Kate was a previous volunteer at the Science Center in the late 90’s and a proud product of the Palm Beach County public school system. After receiving her Bachelors of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy, she served as an Officer in the U.S. Navy for six years. While in the Navy, she served overseas on the USS Carr, USS Fort McHenry and USS Tortuga; her specialty was education and training in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon receiving her honorable discharge from the Navy she moved back to her home state where she continues to further her career in administration, and obtained her Master's Degree from Johns Hopkins University. Kate's work at the Science Center over the past ten years has earned her such recognition and awards as South Florida Business Journal's "40 Under 40” award, Sun Sentinel's Top Workplace Professional Award, ATHENA award finalist and Women in Leadership Award Finalist.
CARLA DUHANEY | CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Carla is responsible for coordinating and integrating the functions of all administrative staff at the Cox Science Center and Aquarium. She earned a Bachelor in Science degree in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State University and a Master's in Education degree at Florida Atlantic University. Carla has over 15 years' experience in science education and environmental education programs within science centers, museums, visitor centers, and nature centers in the Caribbean and the United States. She has extensive experience in designing and implementing educational programs and curriculum for non-profit and government organizations as well as development, delivery, and evaluation of adult training programs.
JEFF GOURDOUZE | VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
Jeff Gourdouze manages the daily operations of the Cox Science Center and Aquarium. He oversees the Information Technology department and serves as our Project Manager for construction and renovation projects. Jeff is also responsible for the installation, maintenance, and care of all exhibits, as well as the Science Center’s building and grounds and all custodial personnel. A former Court Officer, Jeff also oversees the security and safety protocols of the Science Center and its staff, working closely with all departments to guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors.
MARCY HOFFMAN | VICE PRESIDENT OF INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT
Marcy is a third generation Palm Beacher, born at Good Samaritan Hospital. She received her primary education in Palm Beach at Graham Eckes and then graduated from The American University in Washington, D.C. Marcy worked as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill for United States Senator Paula Hawkins. Senator Hawkins' passion for child welfare issues led Marcy on her path to fundraising and fund development on behalf of non-profit agencies serving children, which she has been doing for more than 35 years.
MELINDA GRENZ | DIRECTOR OF PHILANTHROPY
Born and raised in South Florida, Melinda began her career in non-profit museums in Central Florida after graduating from UCF with a Digital Media B.A. She gained experience in Science Centers by working on research, program development, and design teams while practicing informal science education daily. She continues to spread her passion for science at the Cox Science Center, her hometown museum, through marketing, events, and by developing philanthropic experiences. She is also a 2018 graduate of the Leadership West Palm Beach program, a member of the Young Professionals of the Palm Beaches, and serves on the event committee for the UCF Alumni Association Palm Beach Chapter.
KALEY GRAU | MARKETING MANAGER
Originally from Southwest Florida, Kaley graduated from Florida Atlantic University with her B.A. in Psychology and began working at the Science Center in 2019. She has held many positions at the Science Center including Birthday Party Host, Early Learning Coordinator, and Assistant Director of Guest Services. Kaley now serves as our Marketing Manager and hopes to continue spreading her passion for the Science Center in her new role.
KRISTIAN ZAMBRANA | DIRECTOR OF VISITOR SERVICES
Kristian Zambrana graduated from the University of South Florida with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Kristian started at the Science Center in 2009 as a volunteer and has held many positions with us before joining the Education team as our Camp Manager in 2014. After a decade of service, he now acts as our Director of Visitor Services, where his passion for delivering the best guest experience continues to push the Science Center to new heights.
ESTEBAN PARCHUC | CREATIVE DIRECTOR
As Creative Director, Esteban oversees all aspects of design and photography for the Science Center. Esteban joined the Science Center team in 2009 after graduating from Florida Atlantic University with a BFA in Graphic Design. Esteban has been responsible for the rebranding of both the South Florida Science Center in 2013 as well as the more recent Cox Science Center in 2021, graphic design for the Florida Hall, Science Trail and Hall of Discovery, and project management for the Journey Through the Human Brain exhibition.
KRISTINA HOLT | DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP AND SPECIAL PROJECTS
Kristina Holt is a long-time volunteer of the Science Center, a graduate of Palm Beach State College and a citizen scientist on various conservation projects. She currently manages our membership and family event programs as the Director of Membership and Special Projects. Previously Kristina has worked as an educator, designer and project manager for visual marketing concepts & merchandising. With a passion for teaching young children and life sciences, Kristina continues to be a strong advocate for the Science Center in promoting and instilling the importance of science education within the community.
REBECCA FAGO | AQUARIUM DIRECTOR & CURATOR
Rebecca Fago brings an extensive background in marine biology and was most recently an animal trainer and performer at Sea World in Orlando. In addition, Rebecca worked for three years in the Caribbean conducting shark tagging, rescued and rehabilitated injured Green and Hawksbill Sea turtles and hatchlings while also working full time in the Aquarium. Fago has worked in the marine biology field for over sixteen years and has logged over 1,200 hours as a rescue diver; she received her degree from SUNY Albany in Biology with a minor in Music and has an extensive background in Songwriting and Performing Arts from Berklee College of Music in Boston MA.
CHRISTOPHER PAIT | DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Chris is responsible for educational programs at the Cox Science Center and Aquarium and has been involved with the Education Department for over 10 years. He is a West Palm Beach native who visited the Science Center many times during his younger years. Experiences like those inspired him to pursue an education in the sciences after graduating high school. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with an outside field in Zoology from the University of Florida and has a Graduate Certificate in Coastal Zone Management from Nova Southeastern University.
CHRISTOPHER ORTIZ | SCIENCE EDUCATOR / STEM COORDINATOR
Although originally from New York, Chris now considers himself a full-fledged Floridian. His passion for the environment and all things nature led him to pursue an Environmental Degree at Florida Atlantic University. Since beginning his career at the Science Center, Chris has enjoyed sharing his passion for all things science with the community around him. Chris is also the STEM Coordinator who oversees and develops activities that are part of the Education Department's Science and STEM Nights.
NATASHA ROCHA | STEM STUDIO MANAGER / SCIENCE EDUCATOR
Natasha Rocha is a Palm Beach County native and earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Florida. Since a young age, Natasha has been interested in educating the public and sharing her passion for science. As part of the Education department, Natasha facilitates STEM realted programs throughout all of South Florida and is also the point of contact for STEM Studio in Downtown Abacoa- a satellite location of the Cox Science Center in Jupiter.
DEBRA SAMUELS | SCIENCE EDUCATOR / GEMS & GIRL SCOUTS COORDINATOR
Debra is originally from Los Angeles, California, but now calls Florida home. She started volunteering and working for aquariums and thus found her love for environmental education. Debra earned her Bachelor's in Marine Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and since then has been teaching youth the wonders of the sea. While in the Education Department at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, she learned how to cater ocean animal education to children and adults alike. Now at the Cox Science Center, Debra brings years of museum experience to South Florida and hopes to explore our coasts and Florida nature. She is the GEMS Program Coordiantor, which brings STEM work fields to the awareness of girls in 3rd-8th grade, as well as our Girl Scouts Program Coordinator.
MADELINE OLESKY | SCIENCE EDUCATOR / FIRST LEGO LEAGUE COORDINATOR
Madeline Olesky grew up in Palm Beach County and visited the Science Center many times. These visits sparked her lifelong interest in science, learning, and curiosity. After graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's in Physcology, with an emphasis in Neuroscience, she spent two years working at a STEAM-focused museum in Gainesville, FL. Informal science education has become her passion in life and Madeline believes that every person has the right to knowledge. She hopes to share her STEAM knowledge/lessons with children across all of South Florida as the Cox Science Center's First Lego League Coordinator.