Children’s Museum of Manhattan Appoints New Board Co-Chairs

Shannon Bauer Aronson and Matthew Messinger, new co-chairs of the CMOM Board of Trustees
Shannon Bauer Aronson and Matthew Messinger, new co-chairs of the CMOM Board of Trustees, Photo: Courtesy CMOM

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (212 West 83rd Street) has appointed Shannon Bauer Aronson and Matthew Messinger as new co-chairs of its Board of Trustees. Their appointments are effective immediately.

Initial news of the appointments was shared at the museum’s Fall Gala in October. The public announcement was held to follow the purchase of 361 Central Park West as a new site for the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, as well as the selection of FXCollaborative as the architectural firm that will handle the building’s redesign and transformation. The new site, scheduled to open in late 2021, will offer approximately twice the exhibit space of the current site and will allow CMOM to double the number of visitors it now serves.

“Our new Board co-chairs embody the spirit of the Children’s Museum and bring extraordinary talent, expertise and energy to the table. We are very fortunate to have them by our side, as we look to the future and our role as New York City’s primary cultural institution serving children and families,” Executive Director Andrew S. Ackerman said. “We are grateful to Halley K. Harrisburg, past board chair, for her exemplary leadership and are delighted that she will continue to play an active role.”

Harrisburg, director of the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, is stepping down after 10 years in the position. She remains on the board and is co-chairing the capital campaign with founding board chair Laurie M. Tisch. Bauer Aronson and Messinger have been Children’s Museum board members since 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Bauer Aronson is a principal at Iliad Realty Group, a privately held real estate investment company focused on acquiring and developing properties in New York, Texas and Florida. She joined Iliad in 2014 from the acquisitions and capital markets group at Vornado Realty Trust. She previously worked at Credit Suisse. In her roles, she brings a breadth of real estate experience including acquisitions, development, investor relations, capital markets, private capital raising, joint-venture structuring, direct lending and equity/debt work-outs.

Originally from Chicago, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and received her M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. While at Columbia, Bauer Aronson was the recipient of the WX New York Women Executives in Real Estate Scholarship. Bauer Aronson serves as a board advisor for Candlelighters NYC, a charity providing support to families effected by pediatric cancer. She lives with her husband Elliott and their daughter and son in Manhattan.

Messinger is the President and CEO of Trinity Place Holdings (TPHS), a publicly traded, vertically integrated real estate investment, asset management and development company, with properties and development projects in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Before joining TPHS, Messinger served as Executive Vice President and Director of Investment Management at Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC). In this role, Messinger led the New York Investment Committee of FCRC and served on the Investment Committee and Executive Management Committee of its parent corporation. He has extensive development, asset management, finance, strategic planning and tax credit structuring experience across a wide range of asset classes including retail, hotel, residential, office, arena and professional sports teams.

Messinger was born and raised in New York City and currently resides in Manhattan and Connecticut with his wife Mary and their two sons. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Urban Land Institute, the Real Estate Board of New York, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Coalition, the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition and the New York Hospitality Council. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Learn more about the Children’s Museum of Manhattan at

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