Executive Vice President,
Marketing, Guest Experience and Sales
As Shedd Aquarium’s Executive Vice President of Marketing, Guest Experience, and Sales, Amy Ritter Cowen oversees the organization’s industry-leading, mission-driven focus to deliver outstanding guest-centric services and experiences through marketing, online communications, brand management, sales operations, audience research, and interpretive efforts.
Cowen and her team of 175 staff members are responsible for cultivating the organization’s close to 2 million guests each year, maintaining its position as one of the most-attended aquariums in the United States and the top-attended cultural organization in Chicago. A proven track record for developing and promoting successful exhibits and experiences, she has led the organization’s efforts to bring its guests Stingray Touch, Jellies, the Abbott Oceanarium, Frogs, Wild Reef, and Lizards and the Komodo King, and its popular Extraordinary Experiences program over the last two decades.
A Roosevelt University adjunct professor and international speaker on branding and communications issues, Cowen is a past chair of the Marketing/Public Relations Board Committee of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and the AAM Professional Networks - the 13 standing professional committees of AAM. She also serves as an AAM Museum Assessment Program peer reviewer. Cowen is a trustee at the Ancona School in Chicago and served as Chair of the Trustee Selection Committee and two terms as Vice-Chair and Secretary of the Executive Committee.
Cowen began her career at Shedd 20 years ago as the manager of public relations before being promoted to director. She left Shedd in 1999 to serve as director of public relations for the Museum of Science and Industry where she successfully launched its blockbuster exhibit, Titanic, before returning to Shedd in May 2002. Cowen lives in Chicago with her husband and two children.