Longtime Corvette enthusiast and former National Corvette Museum board of directors member Jack Matukas will become the museum’s interim chief executive after the departure of Sean Preston, who served less than two years as the Bowling Green tourist attraction’s president and CEO.
Matukas was on the NCM board from 2002 to 2015 and board chairman in 2012 and 2013. He said Preston, who was hired as CEO in July 2019, is leaving to “pursue other opportunities.”
Preston was hired to replace Wendell Strode, a member of the Corvette Hall of Fame who served as the museum’s executive director for 23 years.
Preston’s background was primarily in education. He came to the museum from Portland, Ore., where he was president of a private school.
“We are grateful to Dr. Preston for the commitment and talent he brought to both the National Corvette Museum and the NCM Motorsports Park,” NCM board Chairman Glenn Johnson said in a news release. “Dr. Preston made a positive impact on our organization, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions.”
Johnson said the board will use a search firm to conduct a national search for a new chief executive. In the meantime, the museum has a staunch supporter of the Corvette and the NCM to fill the role temporarily.
A retired Bowling Green real estate executive, Matukas and his wife, Donna, are founding members of the museum.
“I’ve been involved with the museum prior to its inception,” Matukas said Wednesday in a phone interview. “It’s kind of a second home for me.”
Matukas, 75, said he is a longtime fan of the sports car that the museum honors. He believes his familiarity with the car and the museum will be assets as he fills in as CEO.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’m pretty familiar with the inner workings of the museum. That place runs so well. They have a lot of good people there.”
Matukas said he plans to “help with the transition” when the board finds a new leader.
“I think the search has begun,” he said. “We’re pretty confident we’ll be able to fill the position in a reasonable amount of time.”
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