After 22 years with the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Deputy Director Dave Pearson is leaving later this month to take over as executive director at World of Speed, a motor sports museum in Wilsonville.
“One of my great honors here has been working with the people who work here, the team,” Pearson said of the maritime museum. “I think they really are exceptional.”
Pearson joined the maritime museum in 1995 as a collections manager in the curatorial department, shortly after finishing a master’s in historic preservation and conservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. He became the museum’s curator in 2000 and served as acting director of the museum in 2008 after Jerry Ostermiller’s retirement and before Sam Johnson took over. From 2009, Pearson was the museum’s deputy director.
Pearson served 16 years on the Astoria Historic Landmarks Commission until 2012, when he joined the Planning Commission. He has been president of the Planning Commission since 2015. Mayor Arline LaMear will appoint his replacement.
“While we will miss Dave extraordinarily, we wish him the best in his new venture,” Johnson said. “He has been a mainstay of this institution. We know that he will do an exceptional job in his new venue.”
Johnson said the museum will analyze Pearson’s duties before deciding whether to replace his position or outsource to other managers. “We have a really strong staff here that’s able to do many other things than what their primary role is,” he said.
The World of Speed was opened in 2015. Pearson said he toured the museum earlier this year, and after seeing a solid nonprofit backing it, decided to make the change. He starts next month as executive director.
A going-away party for Pearson will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at the maritime museum and is open to the public.