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Medal of Honor Museum CEO resigns

Hospitality and Tourism
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Bill Phillips, chairman of the board for the National Medal of Honor Museum, said CEO Mark Updegrove's resignation should not affect fundraising efforts for the museum (Photo/File)

The CEO of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation resigned unexpectedly Friday, citing personal health and family reasons.

Mark Updegrove was hired in February to lead the foundation through fundraising efforts for the museum, which is to be built adjacent to the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant.

UpdegroveBill Phillips, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, said that the resignation was a shock to everyone but that he understands Updegrove’s decision was right for him.

Updegrove “was a wonderful complement and a great voice and a track record at the table, (but) the story of what we’re doing ... is such a noble story,” he said. “We will persevere.”

Phillips said the resignation shouldn’t affect fundraising efforts for the museum. The foundation is hoping to raise $110 million to construct and operate the Moshe Safdie-designed museum.

The board of directors met Friday morning to discuss Updegrove’s resignation and begin forging a path forward, Phillips said, but the board had no immediate announcement about a new CEO.

The foundation is currently searching for a director of development, a position that completely focuses on fundraising and coordination and “helps put the pieces of the puzzle together,” Phillips said. He said the same firm assisting with that search is the one that helped hire Updegrove as CEO.

Phillips said the foundation is still aiming to break ground late next year and open the museum to the public in late 2020.

“We’re not going to cut any corners, we’re not going to bully our way through anything,” Phillips said. “We want to work with the community, and we’ve done everything we can, we’ve met every request we’ve been given ... and we’re moving forward.”

Reach Patrick Hoff at 843-849-3144.

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