Marvin Logan, Oh Wow

Oh Wow Seeks New Executive Director after Logan Resigns

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology is on the hunt for a new executive director following the surprise resignation of Marvin Logan Jr.

Logan, who was hired by Oh Wow in October 2021 to succeed its founding executive director, Suzanne Barbati, gave Oh Wow’s board of directors notice Feb. 27 of his intent to step down, said Ellie Platt, chairwoman of Oh Wow’s board.

“We’re certainly disappointed to see him leave,” Platt said. Logan had “big shoes to fill” following Barbati but helped expand Oh Wow’s vision of bringing STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – education to a larger group by expanding the age range of who it serves and bringing its educational resources “to communities that typically don’t have access.”  

Logan, a Warren native who returned to the area from Detroit, where his wife still lives, to take the Oh Wow position, points to several things he is proud of during his tenure, especially the team in place there.

“We had some people who stepped into a newness and really embraced our culture. We built a brand promise with Oh Wow in understanding that our cultural values work, and how we wanted to grow as a team,” he said.

Oh Wow also is just a few months away from opening its new Innovation Wing, under construction on its second floor, and a strategic plan is in place that will continue to guide the organization through 2027. In addition, the organization developed an impact model to illustrate how it was “delivering value” to the community, Logan said.

“And we were able to raise a lot of support and bring a lot of new awareness, not just for the Mahoning Valley but the entire state of Ohio when it comes to STEM education and how the technology, manufacturing, innovation and design landscape is changing,” which he expects Oh Wow will continue to play a role in, he said.

Logan built on Oh Wow’s initial vision and had “amazing ideas,” Platt said. “A lot of the events and programs that he added really helped elevate our programming,” she added.    

Logan said he would be going back and forth between Youngstown and Detroit over the next several weeks. He also plans to take time with his wife, who is lead design mentor at the Apple Developer Academy at Michigan State University, and “reflect on this journey,” he said.

“She sacrificed a lot so that I would be able to come home and fulfill a dream. We want to figure out what’s next for us,” he said. “We both are very passionate about the things that we do, and so that’s what we want to do – to be able to figure out where our journey will go to.”

Wiley Runnestrand, who preceded Platt as chairman of Oh Wow’s board, credited Logan for bringing “youth and enthusiasm” to an organization that its board wanted to see play a bigger role in Youngstown, an objective that he “set us off on a track toward that being the case.” He also said Oh Wow has stronger relationships with local schools and in engaging students in STEM outside Oh Wow’s building.

“There’s a lot of things to be proud of,” he said.

During the search for an executive director, Oh Wow’s board and staff will continue to handle day-to-day operations, and Platt will serve as point of contact for sponsors and donors.  

“All services will continue as usual,” Platt said.

Pictured at top: Marvin Logan is seen inside the Oh Wow center in this May 2022 file photo.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.