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Meet the Staff


Carolyn Purcell, Executive Director,
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 245

Carolyn has been with the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center since 2001, and has served as executive director since 2008.  She has a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies focusing on History and Cultural Geography and over 30 years of professional museum experience. “The great thing about the history of the Mid-Columbia region is that it is intersected by so many fascinating themes in national history, offering dynamic interpretive programs and exhibits.  We will never run out of new ways to engage our visitors.”


Steve Thompson, Director of Education
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 209

Steve Thompson heads up our Education team. He has been involved with our Education Program for over 10 years.  He is working with the Education team to provide Distance online education and and works with schools and teachers to coordinate enriching tours for students.


Susan Buce, Marketing Manager
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 215

Susan Buce brings over 35 years of marketing, advertising, and sales experience to the team. She produces the advertising and marketing materials that promote the Discovery Center, and networks with organizations in the area. Her long-time interest in promoting the gorge and local history makes this a good fit for the self-proclaimed “history queen.” As “Lulu Crandall, Wasco County’s first historian,” and an occasional tour guide, she also performs living history for cruise ship visitors and tells stories of early pioneer days in “Dalles City.”


Shawn McCleary, Museum Store Manager/Buyer
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 243

Shawn brings 16 years of retail experience after owning and operating a retail store from 1996-2012. Married with 3 adult children, 2 grandkids, and 2 Labrador retrievers, Shawn loves spending time with her family, as well as her kindle. “Enhancing the visitor experience by providing just the right keepsake to take home is my mission.”


Josh Jaco, Café and Catering Manager
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 244

Josh likes to cook and provide excellent customer service.  “I enjoy making people feel welcome and well cared for.  Serving high quality food with efficiency is my passion.”


Bambi Foy, Raptor Education Coordinator
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 210

Bambi began her career at the age of 13 when as an Iowa farm girl she worked for a veterinarian taking care of animals after surgery. This led to several opportunities in which she worked with primates, bears, cats, psittacines, and other wild and endangered species. She worked at a variety of zoos and wildlife centers, while also volunteering at every opportunity to expand her knowledge and education. She began specializing in raptors while living in Colorado and working with a traveling education team. “Coming to the Discovery Center has been a wonderful fit with my experience and passion in providing education in the wildlife and environmental fields.”


Linda Williams, Office Manager
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 212

Linda keeps things in the office organized and  helps keep everything flowing smoothly. She handles the accounts receivable, accounts payable and oversees the management of our membership list.


Katherine Purcell, Collections Registrar
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 242

Katherine manages the vast collection of artifacts donated to the museum.  “I have the most interesting job.  In order to catalog and best care for collections, I spend a lot of time researching.  Digging through old newspapers and manuscripts and doing research online is always fascinating.”


Elody Zuniga, Event Coordinator
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 202

Elody is an expert event coordinator, and will help you coordinate your special event, large or small from weddings to meetings.


Dan Anderson, Building & Facilities Manager
Office: 541.296.8600 ext. 213

Dan keeps our facilities in working order and in good shape.