Blog: Patricia E. Mooradian



As president of The Henry Ford,
one of the largest history destinations in the world that celebrates American innovation and the American experience, Patricia Mooradian oversees the development and implementation of the institution's business operations and strategic positioning with an emphasis on attendance and revenue growth. Committed to driving economic development through cultural heritage and tourism, Mooradian maintains the historical integrity of the institution while focusing on the progression of the business through strategic alliances, a strong community presence, and ongoing funding initiatives.

With more than 28 years experience in management, strategic planning, and communications, and a commitment to the destination's mission and vision, Mooradian is the driving force behind the institution's re-branding and transformation.

She joined The Henry Ford in 2000 as chief operating officer, overseeing the executive staff and delivery teams in the daily operation of the institution's key venues. In addition, she led and managed all product development from the key programmatic departments including Historical Resources, Education, Experience Design, Marketing and Sales, and Public Relations.  

Prior to joining The Henry Ford, Mooradian was an executive with The Taubman Company in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Mooradian is vice chair of the Henry Ford Learning Institute; vice chair of the Michigan Travel Commission; vice chair of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Board; and a founder and executive board member of the Cultural Alliance of Southeast Michigan. She is also a board member of Henry Ford Hospital & Health Network; a member of the Executive Committee of the Arab American National Museum National Advisory Board; a member of the National Arts Strategies Board; a board member of Henry Ford Academy; and a member of the University of Michigan-Dearborn Citizens Advisory Council. Mooradian is a graduate of Leadership Detroit XX (20).
Patricia E. Mooradian - Most Recent Posts:

Post 3: Motor City to Maker City

This year, we are very excited about two new partnerships that support The Henry Ford's mission while allowing us to bring in new experiences and opportunities for our visitors, heighten community engagement, and stimulate the region's economy. 

The first is a partnership with the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). This organization is the world's oldest and largest member-driven society for industrial and product designers. Each year, the society organizes the International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) competition. This competition annually honors "design excellence in products, eco design, and packaging" among other disciplines.

It was recently announced that the IDEA award winners, starting with those designated this year, will become part of the permanent collections of The Henry Ford.  In April, all 2010 IDEA award entries will be on public display in Henry Ford Museum giving visitors an opportunity to vote for their favorite as part of IDEA's People's Choice Award. The 2010 IDEA Awards, in partnership with Fast Company, will be announced this August.

On July 31 and August 1 of this year, The Henry Ford, in partnership with Make Magazine, is taking the Motor City to Maker City with the first-ever Detroit Maker Faire. This family friendly event brings together the most creative, imaginative and resourceful can-doers in the areas of science and technology, engineering, food, and arts and crafts.  It's an amazing example of people from all different backgrounds and disciplines using their imaginations and their hands to create innovative things that can make a difference.

I, personally, can't wait for this event, as it epitomizes what The Henry Ford is all about—exploring new ideas, sparking imagination, and thinking innovatively to create a better future. And what better place to hold an event like this than Detroit? This city, and its surrounding region, is a hot bed of innovation and innovators and The Henry Ford is proud to be able to bring this exciting event to our community.  

Post 2: The Myth of the Lone Genius

Over the past couple of years, several of our curators, our senior management team, and I had the distinct pleasure of traveling the country with the goal of documenting and capturing on film the oral histories of some of the greatest innovators and change agents living today.

We met Don Chadwick, co-designer of the Aeron Chair, in his studio in Los Angeles. Elon Musk greeted our cameras and crew in his Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Factory on 1 Rocket Road in Hawthorne, California. Dean Kamen, after landing his helicopter on his personal heli-pad, had us begin the interview in the front hallway of his home in Bedford, New Hampshire.

We have interviewed more than 30 innovators to date and 10 of these interviews are currently accessible on The Henry Ford’s newest website, OnInnovation.com. We created this site to serve as a tool for lifelong learners with the goal of further fueling a culture of innovation.

What is so amazing about these oral histories and the dynamic and diverse group of people we interviewed is the commonality in what they say about innovation and how important it is at this time in our history.

One common belief among many of the innovators we interviewed was the notion of collaboration—that the myth of the lone genius is just that, a myth. Most innovations today—social and technical—are the product of intense collaboration.

Pierre Omidyar, the inventor of eBay, said it humbly and clearly: "The really cool companies out there today (are) the ones that are the most plugged into the people they're serving, take great ideas from the community, and implement them."

At The Henry Ford, we live by the saying: "Everything of significance we do, we do in partnership with others."

For any organization to thrive today, it must collaborate.  It can't go it alone. It must cultivate strategic relationships and develop mutually beneficial partnerships.

Post 1: On Innovation

At The Henry Ford, we constantly ask ourselves, how can an American history museum stay relevant? How can we relate to future generations and most importantly, how can we inspire students of today to make their mark on this world?

While our collection of artifacts is dynamic and represents the nation's best archive of innovation, The Henry Ford presents more than just "cool stuff." We share the stories of innovation, ingenuity, and resourcefulness that represent some of the greatest innovators who ever lived—people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, and the Wright brothers.

Our mission focuses on both the past and the future. We help people learn from history and encourage them to use those lessons to imagine and create a better future.  At The Henry Ford, we believe that "better future" can best be created by rediscovering and examining the innovative characteristics that define a "can-do" philosophy.

One fact perhaps many people don't know about The Henry Ford is that we continue to add to our collections today. Eighty years ago, our founder, Henry Ford, set out to build what he called, "a place for everybody who wants to know the greatness of our country and what has made it great." So he began collecting objects that reflected American progress. He traveled across the country to factories, farms, and workshops to obtain those remnants he felt best represented "the common genius" of the American people.

We have never strayed from Henry Ford's vision of building a place that celebrates those common-day heroes, the dreamers, the risk-takers—the people who have dared to change the world.

And because of our great foundation and the strength of our core assets, The Henry Ford is in a unique position to collect the present stories of innovation that will be relevant tomorrow.

For more than two years, we have been collecting the oral histories of some of the leading contemporary innovators today. We have been to their workshops, laboratories, offices, and homes for the sole purpose of documenting their creative processes, the ways they work, the ways they think, and how they translate their ideas into tangible and valued realities.

In February of this year, The Henry Ford launched OnInnovation.com, a website that features these oral histories and gives the user insight into these remarkable visionaries that are currently making a significant impact in many fields ranging from new technologies and alternative fuel sources to green architecture and industrial design.

To date, we have conducted more than 30 interviews with people such as Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Pierre Omidyar, Elon Musk, Stan Ovshinsky, Don Chadwick, and Lyn St. James.

Throughout the course of collecting these firsthand accounts, we were able to identify common themes and characteristics—patterns in the innovative process that transcend any given industry or person or historical period.  

Through this new website, OnInnovation.com, we can then share these insights and inspiring stories with the world while giving them connection and context.

I think it's important to know that OnInnovation.com is more than a website. We designed it to be a tool—a useful tool for lifelong learners.

We want people to use these stories and bring these innovators virtually into their classrooms, offices, and homes. We hope to stimulate creative and imaginative thinking.

The Henry Ford is committed to fueling the spirit of American innovation and igniting a "can-do" culture among a new generation of thinkers and doers, sparking progress and encouraging the development of talent and promotion of human potential.

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