Meet Our Staff
Email | Phone: 785-587-2729, ext. 206
Susan Adams is no stranger to the Flint Hills Discovery Center. She recently served as the Volunteer/Visitor Services Manager, where she was instrumental in developing an opportunity for community members to be involved with the center. She was also key to the Visitor Experience as she managed the Visitor Service staff along with the Gift Store Coordinator. Susan joined the Discovery Center in 2011 while it was still in the development stages and was instrumental in opening the facility in 2012. She has served in many capacities at the facility such as Interim Gift Store Coordinator, Special Events Organizer, Interim Event Sales Coordinator and Interim FHDC Director in 2013.
Susan served as the Director Volunteer/Visitor Services for over five years. She has also worked professionally with two regional Girl Scout Councils as Program, Field and Public Relations Director for over seven years in Missouri. Susan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Leisure Management/Recreation from Missouri Western University in St. Joseph, Missouri. Susan and her family have lived in Westmoreland area since 2002. They reside on a seven acre farm in a limestone home built in 1877. Mitch and Susan have two adult children, Shelby and Shane.
Katharine HenslerAssistant Director/Development Officer
Email | Phone: 785.587.2729, ext. 207
Katharine has over 14 years experience working in the Museum field, from collections management to development and administration. She is originally from North Central Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Arts in History from Lock Haven University. She obtained her Master of Arts in Historic Preservation from Goucher College, Baltimore. She most recently held the position of Executive Director of the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, WA before relocating to Kansas. She and her husband Craig Neill are new residents of Manhattan.
Roy GarrettExhibits/Operations Manager
Email | Phone: 785-587-2729, ext. 209
Roy Garrett serves as manager for the 10,000 square feet of permanent exhibits on display at the facility. He supervises building operations and is responsible for the implementation and development of engaging temporary exhibits. Roy is a seasoned museum veteran, having worked for 15 years at the Corpus Christi Museum of Natural History. He is a Kansas State University alumnus and a proud parent.
Stephen BridenstineCurator of Education
Email | Phone: 785-587-2729, ext. 202
Stephen is responsible for the development, delivery and assessment of the Discovery Center’s educational, interpretive and public programming offerings and supervises one full-time educator and several seasonal educators. He most recently held the position of Oral History Coordinator with the Seminole Tribe of Florida at their Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum in Clewiston, FL.
He also has experience with the National Park Service in Wyoming at Yellowstone National Park and Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in North Dakota as a park ranger heavily involved in on-site interpretation. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in History with a minor in Spanish as well as a Master of Arts in History from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Jonathan MertzEvent Supervisor
Email | Phone: 785-587-2729, ext. 208
Jonathan is responsible for facility rentals as well as special events at the FHDC. He assists in all event needs, from hosting a small group meeting to planning a dream wedding. A graduate of Wamego High School and then Kansas State University, he is the fourth generation of his family to live in the Flint Hills. After working for several years for nonprofit organizations in Washington, DC, he is excited to be back in Kansas.
Programs and Educational Animals Supervisor
Email | Phone: 785-587-2729, ext. 203
Amber has had a long relationship with FHDC beginning as a volunteer in 2012. In her first four years, she served as a volunteer, intern and an Education Assistant. Amber holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University in Park Management and Conservation, as well as Natural Resources and Environmental Science. Most recently Amber worked as a Naturalist at Milford Nature Center, where she taught people of all ages about Kansas' native plants and animals.
Mary HildrethAdministrative Assistant
Email | Phone: 785.587.2729
Mary Hildreth has served as office assistant for the past two years. She supports all FHDC staff and loves the diversity of her responsibilities. Previously, Mary was a practice manager and corporate trainer in the medical field and has a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Kansas.
Gift Store Coordinator
Email | Phone: 785-587-2729, ext. 214
Penny is responsible for the purchasing of new products, inventory accountability and sales at the Gift Store. She previously worked for fifteen years as a manager and buyer for Varney’s Book Store in Manhattan, and brings her retail experience along with her love of the Flint Hills to assist in the Gift Store’s success. Penny has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from Kansas State University.
Operations Manager Assistant
Zac began working for the City of Manhattan in 2006 as a custodian for City Hall and transitioned to the Flint Hills Discovery Center in early 2012 shortly before the facility opened.