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Cincinnati Museum Center and Freedom Center name new Vice President of Marketing & Communications

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center today announced the addition of Cody Hefner to their leadership teams as Vice President of Marketing & Communications. In this role, Hefner will contribute to the success of the organizations by driving attendance and earned revenue through strategic marketing initiatives and earned media while growing brand identity and reputation management.

“Cody has helped build and refine our brands, honoring the legacies of both institutions while consistently telling their stories in an energetic and earnest way,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president & CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center and CEO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “This is a well-earned recognition of his contributions and we’re excited to position him for a larger role as we move forward with bold plans for the future.”

Hefner, who most recently served both organizations as Senior Director of Marketing & Communications, joined CMC in 2011 as Visitor Services Manager and joined the Marketing department as Media Relations Manager in 2013. In his time with the Marketing team, he has led marketing and communication efforts for over a dozen exhibitions and more than 15 OMNIMAX® films, winning industry awards in the process. In his tenure, Hefner has climbed trees as a lemur for Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, hauled giant LEGO bricks to local landmarks as part of the #WhatTheBrick campaign for The Art of the Brick, garnered national media attention for the Freedom Center’s and Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center’s Unlocking the Gates of Auschwitz: 70 Years Later exhibition and encouraged a mountain climber to safely rappel down Union Terminal for National Parks Adventure.

“These organizations feel like home to me. They’re where I’ve grown up professionally and where I’ve been fortunate to be part of so many milestones,” said Hefner. “I’m looking forward to continuing to contribute to both the legacies and the futures of both organizations as we work to make an even greater impact in our community.”

Hefner helped rally support for Union Terminal’s Yes on 8 campaign in 2014 that paved the way for the National Historic Landmark’s restoration and then led communications and marketing efforts around the $228 million restoration project from 2016-2018. During the restoration, he also led communications for CMC’s Curate My Community initiative, during which the museum displayed over 700 museum objects across Greater Cincinnati. Hefner is currently working with CMC’s Philanthropy team on communications around its $85 million Champion More Curiosity campaign to build out new exhibits, develop programming and grow the museum’s endowment. To date, the campaign has raised $69.7 million.

Hefner will help lead both organizations out of the COVID-19 pandemic and into ambitious futures. In addition to its comprehensive campaign, CMC is also preparing for the reopening of the Children’s Museum and Ice Age Gallery and the 75th anniversary of the Duke Energy Holiday Trains. The Freedom Center is readying for the opening of new special exhibitions this summer, the launch of collaborative DEI facilitated learnings and the 2021 International Freedom Conductor Awards gala in October that will honor Amal and George Clooney, Congressman John Lewis and Bryan Stevenson.

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Cody Hefner