Team News

Meet Our Board Members!

Meet Our Board!

We are very excited to introduce the community to our new board members and wanted to take an opportunity for you to get to know each of them better. This is the team that will be guiding us into the future as we create and open a brand new children’s museum in 2023! We are honored and excited to have them sharing their expertise, time and talents to the board and to this monumental process.

Meghan Fraser McGrogan 

Board President
Partner, McGrogan Design

Meghan and her husband Ryan and own two businesses: McGrogan Design – a full service graphic design and marketing company, and Commonworker – a shared office space specifically designed for small business owners. Prior to being an entrepreneur, she served the local business community as the Executive Director at the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce. She began her career in marketing and public relations at Utica’s beloved F.X. Matt Brewery. 

Three fun facts about Meghan
1) She and Ryan have a 4 year old son, Peter, and a yellow lab, Lucy
2) She really loves to cook and is constantly trying out new recipes
3) She has an (un)healthy obsession with all things to do with home design like renovations, decorating, gardening, building things and most recently indoor plants

Why she is excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history
The Utica Children’s Museum has been a staple institution in our community for many, many years, and most importantly it has been a place for children to learn and explore. When I learned of ICAN’s plans to relocate and incorporate the museum into a larger project, I was so impressed with the thoughtfulness and energy that was dedicated toward planning this community resource. As a mom, I’m also extremely passionate about the growth and development of our children. The Utica Children’s Museum and ICAN’s vision for the Family Resource Center are great examples of what our community is capable of, and I’m so proud to be a part of the board during this transformative time!

Adam Pawlick

Board Vice President
Vice President, Utica Comets and Utica City FC

In his position, he does a little bit of everything – manages and oversees the staff for both organizations from ticketing, marketing, game ops and corporate sales.

Three fun facts about Adam
1) Married to his beautiful wife Rachel for six years.
2) They have a son Asher (2 years old) and daughter Ava (7 weeks old).
3) He loves all sports but golf and hockey are my favorites. 

Why he is excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history:
I grew up going to the Utica Children Museum, I still have great memories of playing in the museum with my siblings and friends. Now with two kids of my own, I cannot wait to see them make memories of their own at a new and improved UCM. I’m extremely excited to be on the board and to be a part of helping create so many great memories for kids and families. 

Chris Lambe

Board Secretary/Treasurer
Chief Financial Officer, ICAN

Chris is an Executive Team member at Integrated Community Alternative Network (ICAN).
He oversees the Finance, Facilities, IT and Brand Management Departments.

Three fun facts about Chris
1) He has a one year old son named Bo (Short for Robert).
2) He has served on the boards of Sculpture Space, the Utica chapter of the NYSSCPA, and Positively Rome.
3) His partner, Jenna, is a middle school English teacher and keeps the passion for education strong in our family.

Why he is excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history:
I can’t wait to create an amazing place for my son and family to have great experiences and to keep assisting with Utica’s revitalization! 

Israel Acosta

Board Member
Retail Regional Manager, M&T Bank

Oversees all M&T Bank Branch distribution network in the Mohawk Valley.

Four fun facts about Israel:
1) He does horseback guided tours in Eagle Bay, NY
2) Loves cycling including road biking and mountain biking
3) Love his pups  – Cedric (Black Lab) and Tank (Chocolate Lab)
4) He starts his day with coffee and ends with wine

Why he is excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history:
It is for a children’s museum.  Providing a safe and thought provoking environment where children can learn and engage their imagination can help kids see what is possible. Being part of the work ICAN is doing with the children’s museum is a great opportunity to give back and contribute to the investment Utica is doing in it’s future. Children are the future and a community that invest in them will thrive.

Kevin Green

Board Member
Director at the Oneida County Youth Bureau

The Oneida County Youth Bureau provides access for Activities, Programs and Services to all youth under the age of 21. We are responsible for Planning, Coordinating, and Supplementing the activities of public, private and religious agencies devoted, in whole or in part, to the welfare and protection of our youth.

Three fun facts about Kevin:
1) He is the father of two amazing and beautiful daughters: Ava (10) and Kinsley (7).
2) He is entering his seventh year as the Varsity Baseball Coach at New Hartford High School.
3) He was drafted and played professional baseball in the Florida Marlins organization from 1997-1999.

Why he is excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history:
The opportunity to serve on the Children’s Museum Board of Directors is a tremendous honor. I am excited to see first hand the imprint the Children’s Museum will make on our community through physical and mental activities, the educational components offered and the accessible services provided for youth and families in one state-of-the-art location. I believe our Children’s Museum will be the best creative space for youth and families to imagine, experience, learn and adventure together!

Lorie Haddad

Board Member
Reading Specialist at New Hartford Central School District

Lorie helps students in grades 3-6 with their reading skills, working on their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills. She teaches students to use skills and strategies to become fluent readers and shows them ways to become independent and proficient at reading.

Three fun facts about Lorie:
1) She has three children
2) She is an avid skier
3) She and her family love to hike

Why she is excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history:
I enjoy giving back to my community and eager to use my educational knowledge to help the museum be a success.

Emily Hansen

Board Member
Opportunity & Entrepreneurship Coordinator at The Center

At The Center, she fosters opportunities for Utica’s Refugee & Immigrant community. 

Three fun facts about Lorie
1) She is mom to two young boys – Wesley & Ragnar
2) She loves the diversity of Utica’s food scene
3) Her hobbies include quilting, sewing and making jam in the summer 

Why she is excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history:
I am so excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history as a mother and working in the refugee community – to see the cultural reflection and synthesis between art and learning space come to life.

Ryan Helmer

Board Member
Vice President; Sr. Process Design Consultant at Bank of America

Ryan leads mid-size to large projects supporting the consumer bank. 

Three fun facts about Ryan:
1) He enjoys coaching sports
2) He has four sons (6-16 years old)
3) Love spending time in Florida whenever they can

Why he is excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history:
There has been so much work to get the museum to this point by the people who have been a part of it long before me. I’m excited to have the privilege to continue that work as we enter a new era for the museum and really showcase our local cultures and diversity. 

Cindy Laino

Board Member
Account Representative at Verizon
Customer liaison for Regional Customer Care. She assists customers with financial and troubleshooting issues, always striving to build and maintain strong customer relationships.

Three fun facts about Cindy:
1) She is the proud mom of two amazing daughters
2) Her passions include traveling and photography
3) She enjoys spending her free time relaxing with her three Morkie pups – Cody, Casey, and Cooper.

Why she is excited to be on the board at this time in the Museum’s history:
She is honored to be part of the Utica Children’s Museum Board of Directors. She truly believes that children shape the future. She is most excited that the museum will create new experiences and provide a safe place for transformation and growth for our children and their families throughout the Mohawk Valley.