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California Surf Museum says aloha to director

OCEANSIDE — California Surf Museum Director Julie Cox is moving on to other opportunities in San Francisco after serving as museum manager and director for four-and-a-half years. During her four-and-a-half years with the museum, she helped the surf museum move from its humble home on Coast Highway to its larger, present location on Pier View Way.

“I helped relocation of the whole museum from 223 North Coast Highway to its spacious location on 312 Pier View Way,” Cox said.

The move included determining museum layout, relocating artifacts, adding a research room and expanding the museum store.

Former California Surf Museum Director Julie Cox (left) with the real "Gidget" Kathy-Kohner Zuckerman at the exhibit opening of "Women On Waves" in 2010.Cox is leaving the museum after more than four years. Courtesy photo

Cox took the job at the surf museum after a career as a professional surfer. One of her goals was to expand the museum’s education programs. She created the evening lecture series and Big Wednesdays summer movie series.

“I was glad to demystify surfing, its physics, culture, art and lifestyle,” Cox said.

She also helped the museum develop business and nonprofit partnerships.

Cox steered the museum through the process of becoming a member of the San Diego Museum Council.

“That was a big deal for our organization,” Cox said.

She co-founded the North County Arts and Culture Coalition that hails the membership of six major North County museums.

She said her hope for the surf museum is that it will continue to build partnerships and perhaps create a coalition with the three other surf museums in California.

“There are four total surf museums,” Cox said. “If they form a coalition they would make their impact a lot stronger. What we’re all trying to do is preserve surfing heritage.”

Cox said she would continue to be a museum member and occasionally attend museum functions.

The California Surf Museum is not presently searching for a new director. Cox said staff members would step up and take on the administrative duties and outreach efforts that she fulfilled.

“The staff is tight,” Cox said.

“They’ll step up and take on the challenges. We all wear many hats already.”