Reorganization and Expansion of Feiro Marine Life Center

Moriarty appointed as Development Director and Williams selected as new Executive Director for Feiro Marine Life Center on the Port Angeles City Pier. Feiro Marine Life Center (Feiro) is pleased to announce the appointments of Melissa Williams as the center’s first executive director and Deborah Moriarty as the center’s first development director. The new appointments support Feiro’s long term strategic plan to expand educational programs, research, and visitor facilities. Moriarty has served as Feiro’s director since 2008 and guided the center’s transition from a city facility to a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, preserving the late Art Feiro’s dream of community marine science center on the Port Angeles waterfront. Under her leadership, Feiro expanded its programs and services and more than doubled the number of visitors and students served annually. As Ferio’s new development director, Moriarty has been selected to once again guide Feiro’s expansion into the future.

“Deborah was instrumental in the formation of Feiro as a nonprofit and has been the heart of this organization for the past seven years,” said Feiro Marine Life Center Board President Betsy Wharton. “The reorganization and expansion of our management team reflects the expanding scope Feiro’s strategic vision for a new and improved facility to continue Art Feiro’s vision of a hands-on community-focused marine life center.”

Williams has been serving as vice president for learning at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago since 2011, beginning her career there in 2006 as manager of student and teacher programs.

"Melissa Williams is our Mary Poppins," said Wharton. "She has everything we were looking for: strong leadership skills, world-class experience in the business of science education, and an appreciation for our place on the North Olympic Peninsula.”

Williams began her professional career in 2000 at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, while completing a Master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In accepting the position Williams said, "The Olympic Peninsula has felt like home to me ever since my first visit here. I am honored to be selected to lead Feiro into the future and join a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who realized a dream and created a place as special and unique as the Feiro Marine Science Center."

Williams’s duties as Executive Director will begin May 7, when she moves to the Olympic Peninsula with her dog Emmett.

Centrally located on the Port Angeles City Pier, Feiro is a multifaceted, dynamic marine science facility, teaching laboratory, public center for marine studies, and destination attraction for locals and visitors. It is fondly known in the community as “the jewel of the waterfront”.

The Feiro was built in 1981 through the efforts of the late Arthur D. Feiro, a former high school science teacher who recognized the value of a place on the Port Angeles waterfront where children, local residents and thousands of annual summer visitors could experience and learn about the marine environment he so loved. In 2008, Feiro was granted 501(c) (3) status by the IRS.