Zing Zumm Childrenʼs Museum of Jacksonville is pleased to announce and welcome Samantha Plocica as their Executive Director. Plocica will be responsible for the museumʼs daily operations, employee management, special events, grant writing, exhibit development, and community involvement, and will act as a liason to the museum’s Board of Directors.
Plocica will officially join Zing Zumm Childrenʼs Museum on August 14, 2019. Zing Zumm is a non-profit, hands-on interactive play childrenʼs museum located in downtown Jacksonville, North Carolina. During her successful tenure as a Zing Zumm board member from 2015-2019, Plocica was imperative in writing and receiving grants from Onslow County Tourism, Caring Communities and Duke Energy. She helped plan and facilitate special events and marketing agendas for Zing Zumm’s Family Funn Runns and Turkey Trot, as well as community events like the Jacksonville Jamboree. She has represented the museum at various seminars and conferences including the Association of Children’s Museum’s annual conference, InterActivity. Her dedication to Zing Zumm has resulted in the museum acquiring funding for exhibit development, equipment, education, and marketing.
Plocica is enthusiastic about joining the Zing Zumm team, “This position will allow me to use my education and training in exciting and new ways. I know the passion it took to open this museum, and I look forward to carrying this passion into the future.”
A graduate of Richlands High School, Plocica is the daughter of a United States Marine and attended Camp Lejeune schools K-10th grade. She received her Bachelors of Science in Public History/Museum Studies from Appalachian State University and an MBA from American Military University with a focus in non-profit business.
She brings her experience from working for the Gear Up Finance Officer at Appalachian State to help maintain grants and matching funds for up to $5 million dollars. Plocica worked with staff to retrieve and review data to verify student success rates post program which was used to write successive grants to continue the programming and eventually grow the budget. This allowed ASU to receive the largest grant they had ever received in 2013. She went on to intern in Visitor Services at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. during the summer of 2013. Samantha returned to Onslow County to assist her mother’s local business, Extreme Outfitters. As a supervisor, she managed their internet retail sales center.
Plocica has an infectious passion for the mission of Zing Zumm, a strong grasp on the museum’s target audience and the community, and has proven to execute efficient marketing programs to increase community involvement and funding for exhibit development. The impact she will have as Zing Zumm’s Executive Director will ensure the organization thrives as a valuable asset to the community. This includes continuously improving programs and services set forth by the Board of Directors, leading with innovation and excellence, and maintaining its financial sustainability and organizational capacity.
Megan Craine, Zing Zumm’s new President and youngest board member, serving since 2008, shared “Samantha is committed to lifelong learning and discovery, which really embodies the spirit of a children’s museum. Having served on our board previously, her knowledge of museums and non-profits has been invaluable to us and we were fortunate to have a chance to get to know her and see her skills before hiring her.”
Zing Zumm Children’s Museum of Jacksonville is a 501(c)-3 non-profit organization which was brought to fruition by two retired educators, Lani Beuerman and Liz Owens. They recognized the need of local, available activities for families with young children that were interactive, fun and educational. Jacksonville, N.C. is recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau as one of the youngest cities in the United States and has the highest birth rate in North Carolina. Fourteen years later, along with the help of many past and present board members, volunteers, generous sponsors and donors, as well as key community leaders, Zing Zumm acquired property in downtown Jacksonville and opened their doors to the public in November of 2018. Operating on a limited schedule for the first six months, only open 20 hours per week, the museum has surpassed expectations with over 12,000 admissions as of July 2019. Zing Zumm is currently expanding their hours, exhibits, programs and special events.