The Executive Staff

Get In Touch

Private Events Kristal Blessett events@theleonardo.org  801.531.9800 ext 126
Major Gifts & Sponsorships Deborah Peterson dpeterson@theleonardo.org  801.531.9800 ext 110
Memberships Nathalia Whitecar nwhitecar@theleonardo.org 801.531.9800 ext 134
Marketing & Media/Public Relations Drew Ehrgott marketing@theleonardo.org 801.531.9800 ext 130
Group Ticket Sales (15+) Group discounts (150+) Staff admissions@theleonardo.org 801.531.9800 ext 202
School Field Trips Staff education@theleonardo.org 801.531.9800 ext 103
Donations and Development Katie Smith ksmith@theleonardo.org 801.531.9800 ext 120
Children’s Birthday Parties Kristal Blessett events@theleonardo.org 801.531.9800 ext 126

Get To Know Us

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Alexandra Hesse
Executive Director

Alexandra has been with The Leonardo since 2006 and is a full-time employee. She was the Program Manager for Body Worlds 3 and the Story of the Heart and is responsible for bringing the world renowned exhibit to Utah. Before joining The Leonardo, she held management roles with the Salt Lake and Sydney Olympic organizing committees as well as the Stills Gallery in Sydney, Australia’s foremost multimedia art and contemporary photography gallery. She holds the following degrees: Undergraduate Studies in Pedagogy and Philosophy, University of Mainz, Germany (1990); Master of Science (Sports Sciences), University of Mainz, Germany (1994); and Master of Business, University of Sydney, Australia (2004).

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Kathryn Smith
Chief Impact Officer

Kathryn (Katie) Smith found the one organization that made sense of her extremely eclectic talents and interests when she joined The Leonardo in 2009.  Her experiences working in a genetics laboratory, excavating Turkish archaeology sites and earning a Masters degree in Human Rights easily fit right in with The Leonardo’s multi-disciplinary mission.

Katie raised money to support the museum’s original build-out during its capital campaign phase and led its development team through the transition to developing an annual giving program.  These days she works mostly with community partners, government officials and foundations and loves nothing more than to share the impressive impact The Leonardo has in our community.

When not at The Leonardo, you can find her…wait…you can almost always find her at The Leo!

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Deborah Peterson
Chief Development Officer

Deb Peterson fell in love with the idea of The Leonardo long before it became a reality.

As an advisor to Dr. Mario Capecchi, Deb was instrumental in Dr. Capecchi’s appointment to a senior advisory role on the museum’s board.  Early enthusiasm for the vision was infectious. Deb subsequently took Dr. Capecchi’s “follow your heart” advice; she took a leave of absence from the University of Utah to assist in the early establishment of the museum!

Deb so loved the excitement and challenge surrounding this project that she just couldn’t leave. After three months “assisting,” she resigned her post at the U to become The Leonardo’s Chief Development Officer.  Deb brings decades of experience in public relations, marketing and development to her role at The Leonardo. The only thing she loves more than her family and The Leonardo are her horses. Shown in this picture with Sonny, her 14 year old, 17 hand quarter horse. When not in the museum, you might spot Deb climbing through the mountains on one of her amazing horses.

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