Meet Our Staff
Email | Phone: 785-587-2741
Susan Adams is no stranger to the Flint Hills Discovery Center. Susan joined the Discovery Center in 2011 while it was still in the development stages and was instrumental in opening the facility in 2012. She has served at the facility in many capacities and became the Director in 2016. Susan worked for several non-profits before joining the FHDC. Susan and her family have lived in the Westmoreland area since 2002 in their beloved limestone home that was built in 1877.
Stephen BridenstineAssistant Director/Development
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5603
Stephen assists all facets of the Discovery Center operation with a strong focus on membership, sponsorships, grant writing, and ongoing collaboration with the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation. For nearly seven years, he served as Curator of Education at the Discovery Center, leading the education department. Stephen previously worked at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum in Clewiston, FL and several positions with the National Park Service including Yellowstone National Park and Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan in History with a minor in Spanish as well as a Master of Arts in History from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Roy GarrettExhibits/Operations Manager
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5606
Roy Garrett serves as manager for the 10,000 square feet of permanent exhibits on display at the facility. He supervises building operations and is responsible for the implementation and development of engaging temporary exhibits. Roy is a seasoned museum veteran, having worked for 15 years at the Corpus Christi Museum of Natural History. He is a Kansas State University alumnus and a proud parent.
Curator of Education
The Curator of Education is responsible for the development, delivery and assessment of the Discovery Center’s educational, interpretive and public programming offerings and supervises one full-time educator and several seasonal educators. For education inquiries, please email FHDCeducation@cityofmhk.com or call 785-587-2726 and ask to speak to the education department.
Jonathan MertzEvent Supervisor/Volunteer Coordinator
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5607
Jonathan is responsible for facility rentals as well as special events at the FHDC. He assists in all event needs, from hosting a small group meeting to planning a dream wedding. A graduate of Wamego High School and then Kansas State University, he is the fourth generation of his family to live in the Flint Hills. After spending several years working with non-profits in Washington, DC, Jonathan returned to his home in the Flint Hills.
Mary HildrethGuest Services/Membership Manager
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5609
Mary manages the guest services team, gift store coordinator and our membership program. She has 14 years of experience working in management with a focus on customer service and efficiency, working as a practice manager and corporate trainer in the medical field. She moved to Kansas to attend the University of Kansas, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She is a proud Midwesterner and loves the Flint Hills region. Mary, husband Robert, and their three children live in Wamego.
Kat ColburnEducation Supervisor
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5608
Kat is responsible for the development and implementation of our education programs, as well as caring for our live animals. She was born and raised in Manhattan and graduated from K-State with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She moved to the mountains of Colorado following graduation until the tallgrass prairie (and family) called her home. She has experience in both elementary and secondary classrooms with emphasis in science and social studies.
Emma SnyderMarketing Coordinator
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5610
Emma handles all marketing strategy and social media content creation for the Discovery Center. She is from Salina, KS and attended Kansas State University where she majored in strategic communications and journalism, and minored in dance. Emma recently graduated in May 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications.
Gift Store Coordinator
Email | Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5604
Penny is responsible for the purchasing of new products, inventory accountability and sales at the Gift Store. She previously worked for fifteen years as a manager and buyer for Varney’s Book Store in Manhattan, and brings her retail experience along with her love of the Flint Hills to assist in the Gift Store’s success. Penny has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from Kansas State University.
Phone: 785-587-2726, ext. 5605
Zac began working for the City of Manhattan in 2006 as a custodian for City Hall and transitioned to the Flint Hills Discovery Center in early 2012 shortly before the facility opened.