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Charlotte Museum Of History President Steps Down For New D.C. Gig

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Sarah Delia
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The president and CEO of the Charlotte Museum of History is stepping down to accept a position at a new museum in Washington, D.C.

Kay Peninger has been with the Charlotte Museum of History for a little over four years. During her tenure, the North Carolina native expanded community partnerships and led the merger and integration with Historic Charlotte, a nonprofit focused on preservation.

She leaves the museum for what she calls a once in a lifetime opportunity. Peninger will be the Director of Museum Education for the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., which is currently under construction.

She’ll join another former Charlottean, Tony Zeiss the former president of CPCC. Peninger says Zeiss was one of the first connections she made when she moved to Charlotte and that they’ve worked together in the past. In fact, it was through a phone call to Zeiss asking if he could attend a museum event that led to a larger conversation.

"He mentioned he was looking for someone to lead their education department and I looked into it and decided it was something I wanted to pursue," Peninger said.

When Peninger joined the Charlotte museum in 2013, it was a very uncertain time for the organization. It was struggling financially and was closed to visitors from May 2012 to December 2012.

Peninger’s last day will be June 23. Lisa Gray, an experienced interim director for non-profits, will manage the Museum's programs and operations until the Museum's board hires a new president and CEO.

Sarah Delia covers criminal justice and the arts for WFAE. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.