Virginia Beach appoints new director of aquarium and historic houses

The new director has worked with the city since 1996

Cynthia Whitbred-Spanoulis was appointed director of aquarium and historic houses by Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of City of Virginia Beach)
Cynthia Whitbred-Spanoulis (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of City of Virginia Beach)

VIRGINIA BEACH — City Manager Dave Hansen on Wednesday announced the appointment of Cynthia Whitbred-Spanoulis as director of the Department of Aquarium and Historic Houses, according to a news release from the city.

Whitbred-Spanoulis has served as interim director since September 2017.

Whitbred-Spanoulis has been with the City of Virginia Beach since 1996 and since 2012 had served as deputy director of the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center and City of Virginia Beach History Museums before being appointed interim director.

“Cynthia is an experienced manager who has demonstrated the skills and talents we need to advance the long-term strategic goals for the Aquarium and our historic houses,” Hansen said. “Having seen her serve in the interim role for the last nine months, I am confident she will continue to grow into the senior leadership position of this critically important department and believe she will admirably serve as the executive director for both the Aquarium and Historic Homes foundations.”

Whitbred-Spanoulis graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Urban Affairs/Planning. She also holds a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Tech and is a graduate of the Real Estate and Retail Development School from the University of Pennsylvania. Certified in negotiations by Harvard University, she also holds the designation of Accreditation in Public Relations, according to the city’s news release.

“The opportunity to lead the Department of Aquarium and Historic Houses into our next chapter is deeply humbling and incredibly exhilarating,” Whitbred-Spanoulis said in a prepared statement. “As we continue our growth, I will remain steadfastly focused on our missions: inspiring conservation of the marine environment and promoting and preserving our unique history for all generations.”

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