AFoCR Director Gail Naughton was named President/CEO of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in September 2002, coming to the NCSML after 15 years at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa where she served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. During her time at Clarke, she was responsible for alumni relations, fund raising, public relations, marketing, communications, publications, and directed marketing and fund raising efforts that increased enrollment by 50%, endowment by 100% and annual fund raising by 100%.
In the 1990s, Gail assisted her husband Dennis, as he incorporated the first Iowa corporation in the Czech Republic and opened Buffalo Bill’s Tex Mex Bar & Grille in Prague. The Naughtons have not been involved in the business since 1996, however they retain deep ties to business associates and friends in the Czech Republic.
In her leadership role at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Gail has guided the recovery of the NCSML from a devastating flood in 2008 when all five of the museum’s properties were damaged and the operation disrupted. Following a successful capital campaign, which raised more than $26 million, a new expanded museum and library is set to open in 2012. A new mission and vision and strategic plan have been drawn to set the vision for the expanded operation. Gail oversees a staff of 12 full-time and four part-time professionals covering all aspects of the operation, such as curatorial, visitor services, programming, marketing, facilities, budgeting, fund raising, and the library.
Gail was born in Jerseyville, Illinois, the oldest of six children, and fondly remembers summers at her grandparents' home in Kansas, where Flemish was still spoken in an ethnic Belgian household – similar to the Czech and Slovak heritage experience she works so closely with today. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and has completed graduate coursework in textile history and higher education administration at the University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa.
She and her husband Dennis, an attorney, have three grown sons, Greg, Luke and Nick, and two grandsons, Henry and Oscar.