TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute announced its new Executive Director over the weekend.

Troy Fears, a life-long Terre Haute resident, began the role Monday. He has previously served as a public school administrator and nonprofit director.

Fears used to serve as the Executive Director of the United Way of the Wabash Valley. He also worked at Booker T. Washington High School, the Vigo Virtual Success Academy and McLean High School all as the dean of students.

CANDLES said in a news release that Fears will build upon the museum’s relationship with the community while expanding the reach of the organization. Fears will also help launch a new capital campaign focused upon a potential move to a new location in Terre Haute, one that CANDLES said will further promote founder Eva Kor’s mission and vision.

“I am excited to work with the CANDLES board and staff to take the museum to a new level,” Fears said. “We have big goals for the future and I am thrilled to be able to work toward those goals. I invite anyone who hasn’t been to the museum before or if it has been awhile, to stop in and visit.”

CANDLES is currently open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on Fridays and Saturdays.

Leah Simpson has served as interim Executive Director since March of 2019. She will now focus on education by leading program development, educational resources, guest experience and daily operations of the museum.

“I am thrilled to be able to turn my attention to education, programming and guest experience, which is my passion,” Simpson said. “I have truly appreciated the opportunity to serve as interim director and look forward to returning to my original focus when I joined CANDLES. We have many new initiatives and exciting opportunities emerging in the next year for education, especially focusing on digital resources for educators.”