Museum Leadership

Ellen Censky, PhD
Interim President & CEO

Dr. Ellen Censky returned to Wisconsin in 2008 to take the Position of Senior V.P. and Academic Dean at MPM. Her responsibilities include oversight of research, collections, exhibits, registration, conservation, library, and exhibit maintenance.

Ellen has 40 years of museum experience, including 10 years as Executive Director of two natural history museums. Ellen started her museum career as a UWM work study student at MPM, and then moved on to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, where she worked for 20 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh and her B.S. in Zoology from the UW-Milwaukee. She was involved in field research on biodiversity in Costa Rica, Paraguay, British West Indies, Dominican Republic, and several states in the US. Ellen has authored more than 50 scientific papers and three books. She was a founding developer of the BioBlitz, a 24-hour scientific survey and educational event, which now is conducted by organizations across the world. She headed up MPM’s Green Team, which was instrumental in developing the Museum’s Green Policy and Plan, green roof, solar panels, and several upgrades to lighting in the Museum.

ryan o'desky headshotRyan O'Desky
Senior Vice President of Operations & Finance

The Senior Vice President of Operations and Finance oversees the Finance, Facility Operations, Government Relations, Information and Electronic Systems, Human Resources, Public Safety, and Retail departments as well as Restaurants and Catering.

Prior to joining MPM, O’Desky was the Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer at Elite Team, a Milwaukee start-up company that distributes luxury sports apparel. From 2010-15, Ryan was the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Herzing University, where he led the effort to convert Herzing to a non-profit institution. For his work with Herzing University, he was named CFO of the Year by the Milwaukee Business Journal in 2015.

JulieJulie Quinlan Brame
Senior Vice President of Development

Julie Quinlan Brame  is thrilled to lead efforts to connect community members to ways they can help the Museum thrive.  She is excited to return to MPM in this role after beginning her development career at MPM. 

Prior to returning to the Museum, Quinlan Brame  was the Vice President of Advancement at Alverno College, where she led the development, marketing, and alumnae relations teams. Under her leadership, Alverno’s fundraising team increased annual giving from $2.5 million to $12 million and succeeded in a $32 million capital campaign, the largest in the College’s history.  Julie also served as the Vice President of Development for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and worked on the marketing team of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

She did her master’s degree studies in vocal performance at New England Conservatory of Music and holds a bachelor’s degree of music from UW-Madison. She has been honored with the Scott M. Cutlip Professional Fundraiser Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals—Southeastern Wisconsin,  and was named a 40 Under 40 honoree by The Business Journal Milwaukee. 

Eric's headshotEric Schmitt
Vice President of Marketing & Audience Development

As the Vice President of Marketing and Audience Development, Eric sets the strategic direction and oversees the implementation and evaluation of the Marketing, Admissions, Visitor Services, and Special Events areas of the Milwaukee Public Museum. Born, raised, and educated in the Milwaukee area, Eric is excited to be a part of the Milwaukee Public Museum and participate in an organization which has had such an impact on him, his family, and the community.

Prior to joining MPM, Eric spent 10 years working with several Milwaukee advertising agencies, developing and executing marketing strategies for brands such as Bombardier, Case IH, Merillat, Toyota, and Weather Shield. He served for 12 years as a leader in the Harley-Davidson Motor Company marketing department, managing the Buell motorcycle brand and guiding efforts in retail marketing, direct marketing, event marketing, H.O.G., and customer experience strategies for both North American and Global audiences. He has also spent three years consulting with brands such as Harley-Davidson and MasterCraft, helping to develop distribution channel strategies and programs which align and support company business goals.