Meet the IWASM Staff

Executive Director
Heather Alexander

Heather started working in the non-profit sector in the early 90's installing exhibits for the Akron Art Museum. She graduated from the University of Akron with a degree in photography and art history. She then went on to manage several local photography studios and custom labs and worked as an archival framer for over 5 years. She has spent over 16 seasons working on different archaeological sites in the Middle East where she has served as photographer, small finds registrar, restorer and coordinator. She is currently involved with a project in Egypt, working under the auspices of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Her aviation life started in 1991 when she was hired to photograph an air show. She has since coordinated fly-ins, arranged the aerial portion of military reenactments and ran an air show for 8 years. Heather previously owned a Pietenpol Aircamper (a 1930s designed aircraft). She has been with the museum since 2003.


Operations Manager
Katie Brinager

Katie was previously a volunteer at IWASM before being hired as the Operations Manager. She graduated with degrees in English-Journalism and Sociology from Adrian College in May 2009. While in college, Katie was a public relations assistant where she was the head photographer, promoted marketing projects, and wrote press releases.

Katie has always had a passion for helping various charities. While at Adrian, she spent four years on the committee for Dance Marathon. Katie led fundraising efforts for the Hickman Cancer Center and Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Shelter, respectively.

After graduation, Katie completed a season-long photography internship with the Cleveland Indians covering home games and charity events. She also covered two weeks of spring training, in 2010, in Goodyear, Arizona.

Katie is in charge of the kids' programs and events, and public relations.


Collections Manager
Michael Sharaba

Michael is an Ohio native living in one of Cleveland’s suburbs all his life. He went to Lakeland Community College and earned his Associates of Arts degree. Michael then went on to graduate from Cleveland State with his bachelor’s degree in 2012 and earned a Masters in History degree in 2014. Michael would like to work as a registrar at a museum in order to work with historical objects. He wants to help educate people in both domestic and international history through the examination of and study of objects. To actually show people their history and where they came from and what we've been able to accomplish through objects speaks volumes compared to just reading about it in books. Michael is currently accessioning newly donated items into the museum’s collection and is working on exhibits and collaborations with other local museums.

Collections Specialist

Katherine Behnke

Katherine has always enjoyed history which led her to IWASM. During her last semester at Cleveland State University, she was IWASM’s collections intern. After graduating with her Master’s in History with a specialization in Museum Studies in May 2018, Katherine continued at the museum. She also works at the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland as an archives assistant. Prior to grad school, Katherine graduated from Ohio State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. As an undergrad, she spent a semester studying at the University of Westminster in London. Katherine enjoys reading, traveling and writing.