Thanksgiving Point president and CEO retiring, search to fill role underway

Local News

Photo Courtesy of Thanksgiving Point

LEHI, Utah (ABC4) – Thanksgiving Point in Lehi has announced they are searching for a new president and CEO.

Mike Washburn has served as President and CEO at Thanksgiving Point for the last 18 years. He recently announced plans to retire from his role, effective summer 2021. During his tenure, “Washburn’s leadership propelled Thanksgiving Point to one of the top tourist attractions in Utah,” according to a Thursday release.

He now plans to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“It’s been one of my life’s greatest pleasures to serve as President and CEO of Thanksgiving Point,” says Washburn. “I’m most proud of the tremendous impact our team has made in the community and in the lives of our guests. I’m confident that my successor will continue the growth, impact, and innovation occurring at Thanksgiving Point.”

Thanksgiving Point’s mission of transformative family learning remains alive and well at all venues, summer camps, teen clubs, and field trips despite challenges brought on during the pandemic. In fiscal year 2019, Thanksgiving Point served 2,072,997 guests.

Washburn joined Thanksgiving Point in 2003 after nine years as the Chief Financial Officer at Sundance Group.

During his tenure with Thanksgiving Point, Washburn developed new venues, programs, and community gatherings. He led the effort to fund and build the Museum of Natural Curiosity in 2014 and the Butterfly Biosphere in 2019.

His efforts to grow visitation also include the Tulip Festival in 2004 and Luminaria in 2016, which draw nearly 200,000 people each spring and winter, according to Thanksgiving Point. Washburn also developed an annual membership program in 2004, which grew to more than 20,000 households in 2020.

A nationwide search is underway for Washburn’s replacement. The Thanksgiving Point Board of Directors is conducting the search. A position description and application instructions are available for interested parties at  www.thanksgivingpoint.org in the Jobs section.

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