Garret Romaine stepped into the 'interim' job a year and a half ago. He'll be succeeded by Aurore Giguet.

COURTESY PHOTO: RICE MUSEUM - Aurore GiguetGarret Romaine is retiring as executive director of the Rice Museum of Rocks & Minerals at the end of the month.

On Tuesday, July 21, the museum announced Aurore Giguet as Romaine's successor.

Giguet, who most recently led the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science and Art in Scranton, Pennsylvania, was selected after a nationwide search.

"She has a track record of creating and implementing successful programs as well as team-building, process improvement, and creativity," said Gail Copus Spann, president of the Rice Museum's board of directors. "We are thrilled to have her on board in such tumultuous times."

Romaine said he is pleased by the hiring.

"This hire represents the museum emerging from the darkest days of the COVID-19 epidemic to a brighter future, and I am thrilled to be tossing her the torch," he said in a statement provided to the Pamplin Media Group.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Spann Collection featured at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals is owned by Gail Copus Spann and Jim Spann from Texas.Romaine took over as executive director in what was intended to be an interim capacity about a year and a half ago.

"When I stepped down from the board 18 months ago to serve as interim director, I quickly learned on a day-to-day basis how challenging and rewarding the museum is," Romaine stated. "The legacy that Richard and Helen Rice built when they converted their rock & gem collection into a world-class museum continues to grow. I look forward to working closely with Aurore and making the transition as smooth as possible."

Giguet will officially become executive director upon Romaine's retirement, which is effective July 31.

The Rice Museum just recently reopened to the public after a lengthy closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened Friday, July 10, with safety measures in place to reduce the risk of viral transmission at the museum, which contains rocks, gems, fossils and other natural artifacts.

By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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