A new season for Cade leadership

Press release from the Cade Museum

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After 6 years at the Cade Museum, Stephanie Bailes is resigning from her position as President & CEO. This decision is fueled by Stephanie’s desire to pursue other opportunities that will allow her to spend more quality time with her family.

Stephanie believes in the mission, the vision, and the people who make the Cade what it is. During her time at the Cade, Stephanie has put a tremendous amount of energy into bringing the Cade family’s vision to life.

“We’re very grateful for Stephanie’s leadership during a pivotal time for the museum. She not only turned the vision into reality, but over the last six years has built up an incredible team. Stephanie is irreplaceable and we will miss her greatly, but I know that the team she created will continue to reflect her legacy for years to come. ” – Phoebe Cade Miles, Cade Museum Co-founder

Stephanie’s Legacy at The Cade

Under her thoughtful and dedicated leadership, which began when construction was still underway on the museum building, the Cade has experienced incredible growth. The Cade opened its doors to the public in May 2018, and since then it has welcomed over 150,000 visitors. The Cade Prize for Innovation, once a modest cash award previously open to Florida-based early-stage inventors only, is now a national competition with a cash purse of over $100,000.

Not only has Stephanie led the Cade to its many accomplishments, but she has also served as a pillar of strength throughout many challenges – most notably the COVID-19 pandemic, when the museum pivoted to provide safe, accessible programming and educational experiences to our community.

Through her hard work and commitment to the Cade, Mrs. Bailes was named a top 50 International Museum Influencer in 2021 by Blooloop Magazine and a Florida Trend Florida 500 Influential in 2022. She was previously named a “Person to Know in the Area of Technology” by Florida Trend.

Looking Ahead

Since her resignation was submitted, Stephanie has worked closely with Phoebe Cade Miles, chairman of the board of directors, and Jay Fant, the Cade’s Governance Committee chair, to develop a thorough transition plan. This plan has been reviewed and approved by the board of directors.

The plan provides stability and is focused on continued contributions to Cade’s mission. This includes a newly appointed chief operating officer who will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization. Additionally, Stephanie will transition to the role of Senior Advisor to the Cade beginning March 1.

The Cade Board of Directors will form a CEO search committee to identify the next visionary to fulfill the role. In the meantime, Phoebe Cade Miles will assume the role of interim CEO until a new one is selected.

The next six to nine months will be a period of transition, but as in all transition periods, there will be a tremendous opportunity for growth. Cade’s mission remains the same: transforming communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries.

“Building up the Cade has been the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am grateful to Richard and Phoebe Miles, and the Cade’s Board of Directors, for their constant support and confidence. Working alongside the Cade’s incredible team of employees and the community supporting its mission has also been an immense honor and privilege. I will continue to support the Cade, albeit from the sidelines, and I look forward to a new season of personal and professional engagement in our growing city.” – Stephanie Bailes, President & CEO

While it is bittersweet, we are so grateful for Stephanie’s impact on this organization and its team members. We are excited for these new seasons for the Cade and for Stephanie and her family.