Staff Bios

Museum Supervisors

Executive Director: Dr. Richard Banz

Dr. Richard Banz serves as the Executive Director of the Southern Museum and the Kennesaw Museum Foundation.  He holds a Doctorate in adult education from Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s degree in history from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor’s degree in social science education from Towson State University. Prior to the Southern Museum, Dr. Banz held positions at the York College of Pennsylvania, York County Heritage Trust, and Baltimore Museum of Industry. He is also a past president of the Alliance of Pennsylvania County Historical Societies. Dr. Banz has had several works published, including Adult Education in Cultural Institutions: Libraries, Museums, Parks, and Zoos (Handbook of Adult Education), Self-Directed Learning: Implications for Museums (Journal of Museum Education) and Transportation in York County Before the Automobile (York County Heritage Trust).

Director of Operations: Ms. Dena Bush

Ms. Dena Bush is the Director of Operations at the Southern Museum and is responsible for museum visitor services, daily operations, and gift shop management. Ms. Bush studied history at Emmanuel College and later acquired her Master’s degree in public history from Armstrong Atlantic State University. Prior to the Southern Museum, Ms. Bush worked at West Florida Historic Preservation Inc. and the University of West Florida. Her publications include Museums and Schools: Creating Successful Community Collaborations (Southeast Education Network) and Reinventing the Field Trip: Using Museums to Integrate Interdisciplinary Curricula (Southeast Education Network).

Museum Full-time Professional Staff

Assistant Director: Ms. Kelly Briscoe

Ms. Kelly Briscoe is Assistant Director of the Kennesaw Museum Foundation.  Her responsibilities include fundraising, event planning, accounting, and managing Museum memberships. She attended Kennesaw State University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in marketing.  Ms. Briscoe previously worked at FieldMedia as Marketing and Sales Coordinator prior to coming to the Southern Museum originally as Volunteer and Tour Coordinator and later as Events Coordinator. Key fundraising events and functions of which she oversees include the Foundation Gala, Golf Tournament, and Great Locomotive Chase 5K.

Marketing Specialist: Vacant

To apply for this position, please visit our job opportunities page.

Archivist: Mr. Dustin Klein

Mr. Dustin Klein is the Archivist at the Southern Museum. Mr. Klein oversees the preservation and security of the Southern Museum’s archival collections. He also assists researchers with a variety of requests pertaining to the collections. He received his Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Georgia in 2012. Mr. Klein worked as a graduate research assistant on the West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail at the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia, where he is currently working on his Master’s degree in history, with a concentration in public history and the American South.

Curator: Vacant

To apply for this position, please visit our job opportunities page.

Events Coordinator: Mr. Zack Hoopaugh

Mr. Zack Hoopaugh is the Events Coordinator for the Southern Museum where he oversees planning, sponsorships, and vendor relations for all special events. He is also responsible for event improvement and development, success metrics, and facility rentals. Mr. Hoopaugh attended Kennesaw State University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in Media Studies. He previously worked in Communications for the City of Kennesaw, the Digital Media Lab at Kennesaw State, and in video production for both the Gwinnett Braves and ESPN.

Early Childhood Educator: Ms. Ruth Lonvick

Ms. Ruth Lonvick is the Early Childhood Educator for the Southern Museum, where she oversees Mommy & Me and other educational programs.  Ms. Lonvick attended Augsburg College, where she earned a degree in history.  She also attended University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where she earned her Master's of museum education.  Ms. Lonvick has previously worked at Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, DE and the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul, MN.  Her publications include “Growing History: A Study of Children’s Meaning Making in Historic House Gardens.”

Volunteer and Tour Coordinator: Mr. Kris Allen

Mr. Kristopher Allen is the Volunteer and Tour Coordinator at the Southern Museum. Mr. Allen recruits and oversees volunteers, promotes and schedules group tours, and provides outreach programs to adults and schools. He received his Bachelor’s degree in history from West Virginia University in 2011 and a Master’s degree in history with concentrations in American history and public history from Marshall University in 2014. Mr. Allen has worked at the Marshall University Archives and Special Collections as a Collections Processor and at Long Branch Plantation in Virginia as the Tour Guide and Archivist, and later as the Historic Site Administrator.

Education Program Coordinator: Pending


Retail Services Coordinator: Ms. Michelle Newman

Ms. Michelle Newman serves as Retail Services Coordinator for the Southern Museum. She manages the day to day operations of the Museum gift shop, the General Emporium. Ms. Newman received a Bachelor's degree in business management from the University of South Florida. She has previously worked in retail management at Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Hallmark Cards.

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