Senior Staff

Leadership Biographies

Adam Smith, President
Adam joined Exploration Place November 11, 2019. He has led museums or has served in museum leadership positions since 2001 and has served in the museum field since 1997. He most recently was Executive Director for Comic-Con Museum in San Diego, California. Before Comic-Con Museum, Adam served as Executive Vice President at Commemorative Air Force, the world's largest flying museum. He led the organization's move from Midland, Texas, to new headquarters in Dallas. The new museum location includes an Aviation Education Center and STEM innovation hangar, classrooms and exhibit space.

Adam also spent 11 years as Museum Director and Vice President with the Experimental Aircraft Association Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he elevated its STEM-based learning, career development programming, distance learning and summer camps. Adam served with other museums as well, including National Museums of Scotland, Lower Methil Heritage Trust and Pendle Heritage Centre.

Adam earned a postgraduate diploma in museum and gallery studies (Awarded with Distinction) from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and a bachelor of arts degree in modern history (First Class Honors) from University of Leeds, England. Originally from England, Smith has lived in the United States since 2001, but especially cherishes the time he spent in Wisconsin and is happy to be back in the Midwest.

Kent Shank, Chief Financial Officer/ Human Resources
Kent has worked in the museum industry for 27 years. He is responsible for the financial and human resource functions of Exploration Place. Kent spent 16 years at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center as vice president of finance and human resources where he was responsible for the finance and human resource functions as well many operations functions throughout his career there. Before Exploration Place he worked for Via Christi Senior Services, Inc. as regional director of finance. Kent received a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Kansas State University.

Lynn Corona, Director of Exhibits
Lynn oversees the planning, development, production, implementation and maintenance of EP’s permanent exhibitions, as well as administers traveling exhibit contracts, negotiations and scheduling. She has more than 26 years of experience with developing both permanent and traveling exhibitions for museums, in addition to an extensive background in general graphic design. Prior to Exploration Place, Lynn was exhibit director at the Science Museum of Virginia, and before that was an exhibit designer at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Lynn earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting from the University of Illinois, Urbana - Champaign. Her other talents include painting media using oils and acrylics, drawing media using pencil, charcoal, pastels, markers, inks, water colors and air brush.

Mandy Fleming, Director of Development
Mandy has over 20 years of experience in non-profit and higher education, including program development, event planning and fundraising.  For seven years, she was the Director of Events at the Wichita State University Alumni Association. Mandy has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from WSU, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City with an emphasis in non-profit management. She is proud to call Wichita "home."

Dustin Hendricks, Director of Visitor Services
Dustin has been a part of the Exploration Place team since before the museum opened. He is a lifelong Wichitan and has more than 20 years of customer service experience. At Exploration Place he oversees gallery experiences, guest relations, volunteers, facility rentals and the Explore Store. Prior to becoming the Director of Visitor Services, Dustin was the Visitor Services Manager for 10 years.

Laurel Zhang, Director of Education
Laurel has worked in the education field for more than 23 years. She oversees development, delivery, and evaluation of all directed education programs for schools, youth organizations, libraries, afterschool programs, birthday parties, camps, preschool classes and more. Laurel joined Exploration Place in 2005 as program coordinator for the education department. Over the years, she has filled many roles at the museum, most recently director of special projects. Laurel earned a bachelor of arts in teaching English as a foreign language at Oklahoma Christian University and a master of science in management from Friends University.