Virginia Museum of Natural History names deputy director
Ryan Barber has been named deputy director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville. As the state museum of natural history for the Commonwealth, VMNH has award-winning programs in scientific research and collections, state-wide education programs, and exhibits both at the museum and at sites throughout the region.
Barber began his career at VMNH in 2005, serving in several positions, including development associate, public relations and marketing manager, interim director of development, and the most recent position of director of marketing and external affairs. As deputy director, Barber will oversee all museum advancement activities, supervising 17 full-time and part-time staff in the key areas of marketing, development, exhibits, special events and visitor services as part of the newly created advancement department. Barber will report directly to the museum's executive director, Dr. Joe B. Keiper.
"Ryan has been an active and accomplished employee who has been involved in so many areas of museum work," Keiper said. "He has fluidly integrated his efforts into fundraising, exhibits, promotion, and other areas. His movement to deputy director will put him in a position to be even more effective for VMNH and the community."
Before joining the museum, Barber worked at Hargrave Military Academy as a major gifts officer and as a reporter at the Danville Register and Bee, while also serving as an adjunct instructor of English at Danville Community College. He earned a masters in mass communication from Oklahoma State University and a bachelors in communication from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Barber lives in Danville, Virginia with his wife, Amber, and their two sons, Lleyton and Braeden.
“I am honored to be named deputy director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History during this exciting time in the museum’s short but illustrious history,” Barber said. “The museum is fortunate to have an extremely talented and dedicated staff, and I look forward to building on our recent successes.”
As part of the reorganization, Zach Ryder has been promoted to marketing and public relations manager, having served as marketing associate at the museum since 2006. In this role, Ryder will manage the museum’s marketing and public relations efforts and report directly to the deputy director. A native of Henry County, Ryder earned a bachelors in communication from Virginia Tech.
Additionally, the museum will be hiring an advancement associate. The part-time position will focus on marketing and public relations efforts and assist in other areas of the advancement department when needed. A job posting will be available in the coming days on the museum's Web site.