Not Your Average Joe: Clearwater Marine Aquarium Announces New CEO


Not Your Average Joe: Clearwater Marine Aquarium Announces New CEO

CLEARWATER, Fla., PRNewswire -- Clearwater Marine
Aquarium’s Chair of the Board of Directors Eric Busch is proud to
announce 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

“I felt a sense of pulling and necessity to serve the community, which led me to the role with the National Black MBA Association,” said Handy. “That same passion, to serve, is what excites me about the CEO role with Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It has such a rich history with not only the Tampa Bay community, but with the military, those with special needs who are inspired by the rescued animals at CMA, and also the community of biologists and researchers who dedicate their lives to saving and protecting marine life.” Handy continued, “It’s truly an honor to join as Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s CEO.”

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.”

“The Board is confident in Joe’s management capabilities and his track record for success,” said Busch.

Handy has received numerous accolades for his leadership and impact on the community. In 2019, he received the Georgia Senate Remarkable and Distinguished Georgian Resolution,
the International Career and Business Alliance’s (ICABA) Atlanta Leading Influencers Award, and the Secretary of State’s Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award. That same year, Handy served as Executive in Residence at Kennesaw State’s College of Business for the Fall 2019 semester, joined as a member of the Leadership Atlanta 2019 Class, and in December was announced as Chairman of the Board for Atlanta Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA).

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