Museum Staff

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Maria Tinajero-Dowdle 

Acting Museum Director
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Maria was born and raised in Southern California. Being the first born of immigrant parents, who knew little English and had little resources, her visits to museums were few and far between. Her earliest and fondest museum memory was a field trip to California Museum of Science and Industry as a child.and watching newly hatched baby chicks in the incubator. Maria's love of art and the memories of museum visits as a child led her to work in children's museums- with her career spanning over 20 years. She finds it a privilege to create programs for young visitors and their families. Meeting and talking with them are some of the most rewarding experiences she has had working here at CMLH. In her free time Maria enjoys spending time with husband and 3 children, and loves to travel, cook, entertain, and party plan! In her next life she hopes to be a chef and eat her way through Europe.


Roy has been an Executive Director, Education Director and Science Curator at children’s museums from New York to California. He is especially proud of the new Children’s Museum in San Luis Obispo that he helped build on California’s Central Coast. Roy was also a classical musician, performing in orchestras around the world. He has lived on three continents and travelled to six. Roy enjoys being in nature, especially by the ocean, jazz, baseball, cooking and gardening. He’s an avid fan of IndyCar racing and lives in Altadena with his wife, Elany and tabby cat, Monchie. 

Roy Mueller

Executive Director & CDO,
Friends of The Children's Museum
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Lisa Reckon

Curator of Exhibits & Education
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Lisa is a 4th generation Californian of mostly Irish and Cherokee descent, mixed with various and sundry other nationalities. She has a varied and eclectic background that somehow gives her a unique qualification for her job as Curator. Lisa's degree in Theater from Cal Poly (she's been in about 100 stage plays including 3 European tours with a Rep Company and time in 2 improv companies; a couple of radio shows and 3 movie shorts) gives her an understanding of lighting, fabrication and public presentation. She has a natural talent in artistry and, aside from drawing and painting, can work in just about any medium you'd care to think up. Coming from a family of 3 girls with a 3rd generation carpenter as a dad, Lisa spent a lot of time in the workshop and picked up another talent: skill with power tools. All this, with the addition of her pick-up truck, makes her a fairly competent exhibit designer. She really likes to travel and has seen 38 of the states and about 10 foreign countries. She has a great hubby, a talented daughter and several champion ponies taking up space in her back yard, happily eating their way through her paycheck.

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Kristine Smith

Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator
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Kristine is a Los Angeles native. As a child, she read the book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and has been obsessed with museums ever since. She was also the kind of kid who would much rather look for insects than play with dolls. After graduating from UC Berkeley, she moved back to LA and worked for a few years at the Natural History Museum in the Insect Zoo- a match made in Heaven! Here at the Children’s Museum, you may find her feeding our tarantula when she’s not greeting guests at the front desk or giving a school tour. She loves the energy and wonder of our young visitors. She believes that early childhood is the perfect time to lay a foundation of curiosity and stewardship of our natural world. It is her personal mission in life to turn a person’s “Ew!” into an “Oooh!” when they see a “creepy-crawly.” The best thing that’s ever happened to her in a museum is either getting married in one or having a parasitic fly named after her. She lives in La Habra with her husband and two children and is happy to be here serving her new community.

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Jennifer Andrade

Visitor Services Coordinator
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Jennifer was born and raised in East Whittier and resides near the Museum with her 3 handsome boys and husband of 12 years. Jennifer says the most rewarding time of her life was being a stay-at-home mom to raise her sons through their early years. Jennifer rejoined the workforce and became the Visitor Services Coordinator at the Museum in 2012. “This job works out perfectly for me and my family” says Jennifer. Working just minutes away from my home, Jennifer is able to be a dedicated baseball mom for her all-star players Rudy and Nathan! In her free time Jennifer enjoys attending church, sporting events (go Angels!), camping, fishing, and the beach.


Samira grew up and lives here in La Habra. She discovered her love for children while volunteering with the city where she was named 2016 youth of the year for the city of La Habra. She is also currently a princess on the Miss La Habra court. Samira is college student working towards a B.A. in psychology and social behavior. Her long term goal is to work with children in the future as a Child Psychologist.

Samira Chigri

Assistant Visitor Services Coordinator
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