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About the Museum and Aquarium



Our mission is to inspire stewardship by creating educational experiences where history and rivers come alive.


Our vision is to become the world’s leader in interpreting and protecting the life, history and culture of our region and rivers, to create a more global, knowledgeable and engaged citizen.

The Dubuque County Historical Society (doing business as the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium) also operates the Mathias Ham Historic Site, is home to the National Rivers Hall of Fame, and supports a national outreach program called RiverWorks Discovery. For more information, we encourage you to explore our website and feel free to contact the institution at 563-557-9545. 


2018 Dubuque County Historical Society &
National Mississippi River Museum &
Aquarium Board of Directors

Mike Donohue, Chairman  |  Regional President, US Bank
Jim Gantz, Vice Chair  |  President, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co.
Mike Budde, Secretary  |   President, Advanced Data Com (retired)
Lori Thielen, Treasurer  |  Rainbo Oil

John M. Bickel  |  Senior VP, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll (retired)
Carol Bitter  |  Legal Assistant, Bitter Law Firm (retired)
Gina Blasen |  Facility Engineering Man., John Deere Dubuque Works
Tim Butler  |  Vice President, Cottingham & Butler Insurance (retired)
Mark Dickson  |  General Manager, John Deere Dubuque Works
Ken Furst  |  Partner, McGladrey & Pullen LLP (retired)
John Gronen  |  Owner, Gronen Properties
Sarah Hasken  |  Unity Point Health Finley Hospital
Wendy Knight  |  Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness, NICC
Ernestine Moss  |  Community Leader (retired)
Francis A. “Chip” Murray |  President & CEO, First Community Trust
Zeny Renier  |  Community Leader
Stan Rheingans  |  Superintendent, Dubuque Community Schools
Chuck Schrup  |   Board Co-Chairman, American Trust & Savings Bank
Tom Woodward  |  Dir., Pres. & CEO, Woodward Communications, Inc.

Emeritus Board Members
John Walsh and Paul Woodward

No officers or board members receive any compensation.

Leadership Staff

Kurt Strand
President & CEO

Erin Dragotto
Vice President of Development

Andy Allison
Director of Living Collections

Nate Breitsprecker
Director of Sales & Guest Services

Tom Lange
Director of Finance & Accounting

John Oglesby
Director of Facilities

Wendy Scardino
Director of Marketing & Communications

Cristin Waterbury
Director of Curatorial Services