An Andover resident has been appointed interim director of The Children’s Museum in West Hartford.
Hank Gruner of Andover was named to the post on Friday following the recent retirement of Edward J. Forand Jr., who was the museum’s president and chief executive officer, a news release said.
Gruner has been with the museum, formerly known as the Science Center of Connecticut, since 1984. He most recently served as vice president of programs and exhibits and had the responsibility for leading the museum’s future planning efforts, the release said.
“Hank Gruner is the heart and soul of the museum, with many years of experience in museum management and programming,” said Howard Shafer, museum board chairman. “We are fortunate to have a professional of his caliber on staff to continue the ongoing operations of The Children’s Museum.”
Along with Gruner’s leadership skills and the talented expertise of the staff, the museum is in a strong position to move forward, Shafter said.
He also said that the museum is commencing a search for a new executive director.
Gruner is a renowned Connecticut biologist and has more than 20 years of experience as a herpetologist conducting field research and working with local, state, and regional planning agencies on the conservation of amphibians and reptiles.
Gruner serves as the biodiversity coordinator for Connecticut programs under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society. He also serves as coordinator for the statewide Connecticut Amphibian Monitoring Project.
Gruner has been recognized by the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Connecticut chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and the Garden Club of America for his contributions to conservation and education.
He received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Connecticut.