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Bradley Gamble takes over as CEO of Cade Museum, with aspirations and challenges ahead

After 15 years with Infinite Energy as VP of Sales, Bradley Gamble co-founded The Selling Factory in 2016, employing over 1,000 college students in entry-level sales support positions. Earlier this year, Gamble stepped down from that company to take over as CEO for the Cade Museum. (Photo courtesy of The Cade Museum)
After 15 years with Infinite Energy as VP of Sales, Bradley Gamble co-founded The Selling Factory in 2016, employing over 1,000 college students in entry-level sales support positions. Earlier this year, Gamble stepped down from that company to take over as CEO for the Cade Museum. (Photo courtesy of The Cade Museum)

After a yearlong search, The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention announced Bradley Gamble as its new chief executive officer on April 15. He took over for Phoebe Cade Miles, who had served as its interim CEO since March 2023.

A 1999 University of Florida graduate with over two decades of expertise in sales and marketing, Gamble stepped down from the company he co-founded in 2016, The Selling Factory.

Gamble is originally from Stuart, Florida, and decided to call Gainesville home following graduation to pursue a career in sales. In the years since, his passion for innovation in the Gainesville community evolved, leading him to an opportunity with Cade.

“I've really come to appreciate Gainesville more as a husband, as a father and a business builder than I ever would have imagined,” Gamble said. “The inspiration that you get from the creative people in this community, I don't know that there's anything else like it.”

Nestled inside the Innovation District along Depot Park in East Gainesville, The Cade Museum opened in March 2018. The museum is named after Robert Cade, the original inventor of Gatorade, it and reflects his view of combining science and art in a manner of purposeful creativity known today as “Inventivity,” which is trademarked. Inventivity merges creativity and invention, representing the Cade’s mission, “to transform communities by inspiring and equipping future investors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries.”

With Gamble’s background in assisting startup businesses and connecting over 1,000 students with more than 160 companies in sales generation, he is seeking to convey that message in its simplest form. Gamble thinks this will deeply resonate with those who aren’t aware of the Cade Museum and even those who are already frequent visitors.

“A simplified message to the masses makes it a lot easier to digest the impact that Cade is having,” he said. “I think that's something we'll be working on here in the short term to where it inspires people to want to give or be a part of Cade.”

Though putting the mission into words may be simplified, the ever-changing exhibits and events rolling through the dynamic museum are not.

With opportunity comes challenges, and just one month into his new role Gamble is preparing for multiple exhibits and events such as “Turning Tides” on May 9, “The Cade's 6th Birthday Bash” on May 11, and “Rube Goldberg: The World of Hilarious Invention” on May 19. The turnover and juggling of having the facilities complete in time can be a heavy task, but Gamble said it’s nothing new to him and his faculty moving together is what drives everything.

“I come from an extremely high turnover world in sales, but I don't pretend to know the genius of how they do it,” Gamble said. “We have incredibly passionate and experienced educators, exhibit designers and a museum staff that’s able to keep this going and look long term.”

Though declining to reveal anything specific, Gamble stated he and his staff have a plan set for what’s to come up to 18 months in the future, building on a new five-year plan.

The first five years of the Cade Museum’s existence have been the groundwork for what’s to come. From finishing the physical building, constructing the STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts, math) workshops and programming experiences with kids coming on field trips to bringing Cade to schools, Gamble has aspirations to stretch its impact into the Gainesville community and beyond.

“We want Gainesville to be the home of Inventivity,” Gamble said. “We want to bring the business community together, schools together, inventors together, all alongside the University of Florida to share with the world what Gainesville means with an inspiring Inventivity movement.”

Bringing the diverse community of Gainevsille together is something that Cade has missed in the past according to Jasmine Dickens, a 34-year-old author and Gainesville resident who recently visited the museum in 2023.

“I was blown away with the different exhibits, but I'd like to see more culture welcomed,” Dickens said. “Perhaps every few months they can have different cultural events, welcoming various members in the community to see those in their heritage. This idea will not only allow residents to learn about the history of Gainesville, but they can learn about those who live in it.”

Gamble said there are still many steps to be taken in both scientific designing and community outreach, but a positive step toward inclusivity came this past weekend with the museum’s 5th Annual Duke Ellington & Friends Sacred Jazz Concert. This free event celebrated Ellington's 125th birthday on the Cade Museum lawn with brassy horns, ivories, and toe-tapping jazz beats to honor the famous African-American composer and unite music lovers alike.

Ideas like these build steppingstones for a greater impact outside of the museum itself. Gamble draws inspiration from his 12-year-old daughter Brianna Gamble, a sixth grader attending PK Yonge who built a small business called, “Brie’s Buttons & More” feed her love for art design.

“When you see kids her age or even younger realizing that through their curiosity and learning they can open up so many doors,” Gamble said. “That can be a turning point for a lot of them.”

Gamble said he is ready for the challenge to branch out, knowing that all levels need to be reached.

“A lot of these kids come from communities where they don't have that outlook,” he said. “If we can inspire the younger generation to know that they can make anything of their life, this will really open up those windows of opportunity.”

Although many boxes need to be checked off the list of accomplishments to expand nationwide according to Gamble, he set a bold time frame for visitors to expect in the near future.

“I think five years from now,” Gamble said, “I believe wholeheartedly that we'll see Cade’s fingerprints in communities across the United States.”

Jesse is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.