Nicole Krom



Nicole has worn many hats in her ten-year career in the non-profit arts and culture field and learned a bit along the way about senior management, visitor services & experiences, membership programs, communications, fiscal planning, strategic planning, community engagement, event planning, volunteer recruitment, and public programming. Raised in family businesses from an early age, customer relations has always been top of mind. She has developed a talent in creating welcoming environments for the public and fostering trust, collegiality, and support among workplace peers.

Imagining and executing new ideas are passions. In 2011 she identified a gap in the museum field in quality professional development opportunities for the front-lines visitor services staff.  Working with knowledgeable colleagues as resources, they are now 6 years into our annual Visitor Experience Conference and now attracting attendees from all over the country and internationally.

Nicole graduated with an M.A. in Museum Education from the University of the Arts, is the current president of the Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia, and is always looking to learn about and get involved with new projects and organizations. Contact her to talk shop or just to say hello!


Kyle Cantarera


Kyle has been striving to improve guest experiences for more than 10 years with stops that include the Delaware Museum of Natural History, Hagley Museum and Library, and Longwood Gardens. Currently, he is enhancing encounters at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware.  Research is kind of his thing (M.A. in History from the University of Delaware), and he has a special interest in visitor studies and their implementation within a museum setting. He also attempts to play golf and loves traveling to faraway places.

Patrick Wittwer


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Patrick Wittwer, a graduate of the renowned Disney Guest Service training program, has worked in cultural and tourist attractions for nearly 20 years including stints as the director of the Elfreth’s Alley Museum, the manager of Visitor Services at Please Touch Museum, and several other stops along the East Coast. An avid traveler, Patrick enjoys adapting guest service models from institutions around the world to fit his organization. Currently, Patrick runs Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Museum, and is likely the biggest Muppet fan you will ever meet.

Cynthia Helmstetter



Involved with museums since her teens, Cynthia has opened two major museums in Philadelphia in under ten years; including, two years staging, opening and managing guest services at the new Museum of the American Revolution. Cynthia was the Visitor Services Manager at The Barnes Foundation during the six formative years before and after its opening, working to tune the new building to meet the demands of the crowds and the leadership. She has also held roles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Betsy Ross House.

The experiences of developing new programs, staffing strategies and floor operations have deepened her passion for problem solving and sharing her knowledge with others. Over the past decade, she has molded her career to include ticketing and systems operations, in addition to consulting on traditional Visitor Services duties.

A Pittsburgh native, she began her museum career as a Teen Docent and then an Education staff member at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in her hometown of Pittsburgh. She received her MA in Museum Communication from the University of the Arts.  She enjoys running, yoga and visiting museums throughout the Northeast.

Brooke Gibbons


Brooke (Chamoru name “Saddok” of the Adiluk clan of Talofofo, Guåhan) is an experienced exhibit curator and cultural organization leader focused on developing accessible, impactful, and community-oriented institutions. She has studied at the Node Center for Curatorial Studies and has a degree in Sociology with concentrations in Urban and Cultural Studies from the University of Texas-El Paso. Additionally she has a certificate in Sustainable Management from Duke University and will finish her certificate in Sustainable Capitalism and Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) from Berkeley School of Law in Spring 2021. Brooke has a random love of books and paper media and collects vintage magazines, makes and teaches collage art from paper ephemera, and regularly volunteers for libraries and archival institutions.

Daniel Corti



Working in Visitor Services since 2000, Daniel has worked at a variety of institutions that include The Franklin Institute, Please Touch Museum, The Independence Seaport Museum, The Academy of Natural Sciences, The Barnes Foundation and the Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians. Not always the Director, his experience has propelled him through the ranks. He has had the pleasure of consulting with a variety of museums on everything from lobby redesigns, way-finding, traffic management and visitor services department development. His ability to relate to staff and guest perspectives makes him the constant champion for both a quality visitor experience as well as an invested and passionate staff member.

Communications Committee

  • Iso Akpabio, Denver, CO
  • Wenlu Bao, Miami, FL
  • Meg Bowersox, Philadelphia, PA
  • Richie Danzig, Philadelphia, PA
  • Michael Madeja, Philadelphia, PA
  • Masudi Mohammad, Philadelphia, PA
  • Alex Silagyi, Hamilton, NJ

Events & Operations Committee

  • Mark Baird, Hamilton, NJ
  • Daniel Corti, Philadelphia, PA
  • Shannon Gibb, New York, NY
  • Alexandra Van Norden, Philadelphia, PA

Programming Committee

  • Harper Gould, Wilmington, DE
  • Michelle Martz, Washington, DC
  • Brett Niederhauser, Des Moines, IA
  • Katy Verevkina, Seattle, WA

VEX Ambassadors

  • Elena Bras, Philadelphia, PA
  • Laura Brooks, San Diego, CA
  • Christine Goerss-Barton, Buffalo, NY
  • Rachel Hammond, Boston, MA
  • Samantha Hwang, Hamilton, NJ
  • Katie Kapczynski, Miami, FL
  • Melissa Sarver, Columbus, OH
  • Dana Lolas, Nashville, TN
  • Darnell Williams, Chicago, IL