Flint Hills Discovery Center Director, Susan Adams, Announces Retirement

By Ryan Duey

After more than twelve years with the City of Manhattan, Susan Adams has announced her retirement as Director of the Flint Hills Discovery Center (FHDC), effective May 23, 2024.

Before becoming Director in 2016, she served as FHDC Guest Services Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, and Interim Director. She started at the FHDC in October 2011, working in a temporary construction trailer before the opening of the facility in April 2012.

Adams tenure at the FHDC saw unprecedented growth and success. As a STAR bond project and the signature piece of the City of Manhattan’s south-end redevelopment, the FHDC directly led to the current district which features hotels, shopping, and the Manhattan Conference Center as well as the future Museum of Art and Light. Over her 8 years as director, Adams oversaw the Discovery Center’s continued growth as an attraction with attendance growing by more than 50% and the number of FHDC members more than doubling. In 2023, the Discovery Center hit record highs with 95,507 total attendees which represents a $3.2 million annual economic impact on Manhattan.

Key to her success was Adams’ close relationship with the community, including FHDC members, nonprofit partners, business owners, donors, and sponsors. Through this relationship building, Adams built a support network that stretches across the Flint Hills region.

Upon retirement, Susan Adams and her husband Mitch plan to spend more time with family including their three grandchildren.

The public is invited to a retirement reception for Susan Adams at the Flint Hills Discovery Center on Thursday, May 23 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional