Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s Chair of the Board of Directors Eric Busch announced on July 21, 2022 that Joe Handy has been selected as the organization’s next CEO. Handy joins CMA with over 20 years of experience in cultural institutions including 15 years at the Georgia Aquarium, most recently serving as President and COO.
“After months of speaking with many qualified candidates across the nation, we are excited to welcome Joe as he ushers in a new era for CMA,” said Busch. “Joe brings with him the knowledge and out-of-the-box thinking from a prestigious and world-class aquarium, and his inclusive approach to leadership will be an asset to our community.”
In 2005, Handy joined the Georgia Aquarium’s founding team as Director of Visitor Services and went on to serve as the Aquarium’s President and Chief Operating Officer in 2017. After 15 years with the aquarium, he took the role of President and CEO for the National Black MBA Association. With his strong business acumen and entrepreneurial mindset, Handy applied his passion for representation for people of color to his role with the NBMBAA.
As CEO, Handy will oversee Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute (CMARI), led by Dr. James “Buddy” Powell, and its team of scientists and researchers who are gathering key research data on manatees, right whales, and sea turtles.
“I am looking forward to working with Buddy and his team of world-renowned scientists and researchers,” said Handy. “It is only through data, like CMARI is gathering, that significant advancements in marine science needed to protect and save marine life will be achieved.”