Staff - Bay Area Discovery Museum


Learn about BADM’s senior leadership team below.


Bay Area Discovery Museum Staff

Karyn Flynn

Chief Executive Officer

Karyn comes to the Bay Area Discovery Museum with a background in investment management, having worked for Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management. Prior to becoming CEO, Karyn was a trustee for the Bay Area Discovery Museum for 5.5 years, serving as the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Development Committee, and a member of the Marketing Committee. She has also served as a Trustee for Heyday Books in Berkeley and on the Board of the Mountain Play Association and Marin Advocates for Children. She currently is a member of the Bacich Elementary School Site Council. She holds an M.B.A. from London Business School.

Brandy Vause

Vice President of External Relations

Brandy joined the Bay Area Discovery Museum in 2012 with more than 15 years of experience in fundraising, museum education, and early childhood education. Her professional background includes working as a preschool teacher and center director, an educator for institutions such as the National Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection, and a fundraiser for George Washington University and UCSF. Brandy holds a B.A. from Occidental College and M.A. degrees in art history and museum studies from George Washington University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Museum Education Roundtable, which produces the only peer-reviewed journal for the museum education field.

Elizabeth Rood

Vice President of Education Strategy, Bay Area Discovery Museum
Director, Center for Childhood Creativity

Elizabeth comes with more than 15 years of experience in formal education, working as a teacher, principal, and executive director in small urban schools focused on personalization, equity, and progressive education. She holds a B.A. from Brown University, teaching and administrative credentials from Mills College, and a Doctorate in educational leadership from Mills College. Her doctoral research, drawing heavily from psychological constructs (such as learning mindset, self-efficacy, and stereotype threat) focuses on the role of “care” in teachers’ relationships with Latino male students entering high school substantially behind in academic skills.

Michelle Martinez

Chief Financial Officer & Vice President of Operations

Michelle brings to the Bay Area Discovery Museum more than 15 years of senior nonprofit management experience, most recently as the Director of Finance at Hospice by the Bay. She has an M.B.A. in nonprofit management from Golden Gate University and a B.S. in Dance from the University of Massachusetts. She loves the arts and in addition to her finance management positions, has held some interesting jobs including magician’s assistant, professional comedienne, and ballerina.

Lisa Regalla

Associate Director of STEM & Informal Learning

In her role at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Lisa fosters robust partnerships with out-of-school time providers to contribute to the creative development of children, particularly in under-resourced communities. Previously, Lisa served as Deputy Director at Maker Ed, developing partnerships with educators, organizations, and researchers to build and support a growing network committed to broadening participation in making as a form of creative learning. Prior to Maker Ed, Lisa worked at Twin Cities Public Television developing educational content that was presented on television, in person, in print, and on the web as part of the Emmy-Award winning series, SciGirls and DragonflyTV: Nano. Lisa also spent several years working at the Museum of Science, Boston and the Da Vinci Science Center in PA. As the manager of several national outreach programs, she has conducted extensive professional development workshops in gender equity and inquiry-based approaches to STEM. Lisa received both a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in theater from Lehigh University before earning her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Florida.

Sara Norris

Associate Director of STEM & School Partnerships

Sara Norris brings 18 years of experience as a Pre-K and early elementary school teacher in both private and public school settings. Committed to providing innovative educational experiences to our youngest scholars, she brings expertise in creating and facilitating child-centered learning environments and professional development for teachers that are grounded in the constructivist philosophy. Her current work focuses on developing high-quality curriculum at the intersection of creative thinking and STEM education. Previously she was a master teacher, researcher, curriculum designer, and mentor for teaching credential and master’s candidates. Sara has twice been recognized as an outstanding teacher by the state of California, and is currently a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, our nation’s highest honor for K-12 teachers. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education and a multiple subject teaching credential with special preparation for teaching early childhood: preschool-3, both from the Mills College School of Education.

Massimo Pacchione

Senior Manager of Museum Experience

Massimo is a Philadelphia raised educator and artist. After graduating from James Madison University in Virginia with degrees in studio art and art history, Massimo moved to Los Angeles where he worked in documentary and commercial film production. In 2011, Massimo received a master’s degree in fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, where he studied multimedia art and painting and became involved in education, mentoring, and tutoring. An advocate of student-centered learning, Massimo went on to become a resident artist, advisory board member, and educator at Root Division, a San Francisco based arts nonprofit organization that teaches art to underserved youth in the Mission District. In 2015, Massimo received his Ed.M from Harvard University, with a focus on theories of motivation and constructive teacher pedagogies in relation to creative learning. At Harvard, Massimo worked on a variety of projects that considered how to integrate student agency into non-traditional educational environments.

Amber Whiteside

Associate Director of Communications and Marketing

Amber brings more than 14 years of experience driving strategic communications and marketing programs for nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, and socially-minded consumer brands, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California Academy of Sciences, and the Goldman Environmental Prize. Most recently Amber served as Director of Communications at Common Sense Media where she directed integrated communications strategies across the consumer, research, and policy platforms, developing distinct messaging for diverse audiences. A former freelance writer, Amber has cultivated longstanding media relationships and secured top coverage as a result and also brings a wealth of experience fostering thought leadership opportunities, developing partnerships, leading press tours and coaching spokespeople. Amber holds a B.A. in art history from Whittier College and an M.A. in visual criticism from California College of the Arts.