Leadership Team


For over two decades, James Hungerford, Erich Zuern, and James Gould have worked together producing innovative projects for museums, cultural institutions, corporations, healthcare facilities, institutions of higher education, sports venues, and retail environments. Their unwavering dedication to leadership, detail, clear communication, project strategy, design sensitivity, and fabrication and installation excellence ensures the successful execution of every project, their internal team’s success, and to their clients and design partner’s satisfaction.


Senior Vice President | Bluewater Studio

James has been contributing to the Business of the Arts and the Art of Business for over 30 years.

Formerly CEO and President at his previous employer, he guided that company’s successful growth for 13 years until it was acquired by new owners. Providing the leadership that produced dozens of remarkable environment and exhibition projects, James worked synergistically with the architectural and design communities around the globe. His efforts can be seen in projects for a wide variety of clientele – particularly museums, corporations, healthcare and higher education.

Now, as the senior member of the Bluewater Studio team, James oversees productive collaborations and successful outcomes for both clients and project partners.


Vice President of Operations and Project Development | Bluewater Studio

James is a master at building responsive teams who are ideally suited to provide superior solutions, products, and services for Bluewater Studio’s diverse client base.

As Director of Production & Operations at his previous employer for ten years, he provided the inspired leadership that drove the growth of six core operational teams. In this role, he oversaw the success of dozens of complex and sizable projects from planning through production and installation, fostering collaborations with subcontractors, clients, and internal partnerships.

Now, as Vice President of Operations and Project Development at Bluewater Studio, he offers clients proven operational leadership and project knowledge. He understands the value of effective planning to the final success of exhibits and spaces. And he is well-versed in ensuring the flawless execution of every phase of the process, no matter how complex the project.


Executive Producer | Bluewater Studio

Erich’s record of leading successful projects is noteworthy and remarkable. For more than 30 years, he has inspired, guided and led the production of museum projects across the United States and abroad – connecting people and nations throughout the world. At his previous employer, Erich built an impressive portfolio of diverse cultural projects featuring interpretive storytelling, educational experiences and highly engaging activities.

As Executive Producer at Bluewater Studio, Erich creates a team atmosphere that fosters excitement and success through a proven process of project planning, design, fabrication, and installation. A strong believer in planning and collaboration, he is a sought-after industry speaker and consultant on the process of developing exhibits for cultural institutions. He also contributed to the Manual of Museum Exhibitions (2nd Edition, 2015) a comprehensive guide to the entire process of planning, designing, producing, and evaluating exhibitions for museums of all kinds.

“I have had the privilege to work with the team at Bluewater studio on many exhibition projects. Their team always keeps the projects focused and on track with fantastic results.”

James Bruer, PrincipalWeatherston Bruer Associates

“…incredibly effective exhibit producer, a collaborative communicator, and tightly focused on meeting client expectations while taking into consideration the unique needs of each project…. Creative, resourceful, trustworthy and able to solve complex design challenges by leveraging the expertise of all team members.”

Mary Trieschmann, Principal ConsultantTrieschmann Exhibit Development

“Working with Erich Zuern was a great experience… there was always great communication, great ideas, and the result is a fabulous exhibit.“

Stefanie Kohn, CuratorNational Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

“Thanks, BW team, this is the most amazing corporate branding install that I have seen. The creativity, communication, cooperation, and teamwork were truly enjoyable, and the end-product spectacular.”

Bob Klinger, LEED AP Vice PresidentJLL

“Bluewater Studio has separated your team from our pool of other partners. This distinction is due to your impressive attention to this project, general ease of working with you and your final quality product. A sincere thank you from your friends at Kahler Slater.”

Tony LaPorte, Environmental Branding Team Leader

“Jim Hungerford, Erich Zuern, and Jim Gould are experts in the world of museum exhibitions based on years of experience and keen understanding of the central role culture plays in society today. They’re creative, collaborative, and delivery-oriented.”

Maria Piacente, Vice President ExhibitionsLord Cultural Resources

"I could not be more impressed with the whole team's professionalism and collegiality. They have knocked it out of the park so far!"

Rick Woten, Ph.D.IHHC Director

"The end product was superior, transformative and highly reflective of the industry we represent in a unique and impactful way. From design to install, the Bluewater team was creative, meticulous, highly attentive and customer focused."

Judy Gaus, Vice President - HR & OperationsAssociation of Equipment Manufacturers

"The Bluewater team provided a transparent, organized, and collaborative interactive development process. This marquee attraction, has helped our new exhibit quickly become one of the Adler’s most popular."

Michael Stellfox, Project ManagerAdler Planetarium

"Please extend a sincere THANK YOU to everyone on the Bluewater Studio Team for making this project a HUGE success! We know it was not easy and appreciate your tenacity in getting this one wrapped up successfully!"


"We were impressed by how carefully they listened to us-to our concerns,
our dreams, and our fears…They shared even complex design concepts in a way that sparked our own creativity and allowed us to feel fully a part of the process."

Julie Huffman-klinkowitz, Collections ManagerCedar Falls Historical Society

"We loved working with Bluewater. All of Bluewater’s team became immediately invested in and excited about the project. The spirit of cooperation and buy-in for the project was remarkable, and it shows in the end-product."

The Bulldog Foundation

"The Bluewater team offered the Bank flexibility to make changes consistent with our reality: budget, schedule and culture. During the project, there was always a personal touch from the Bluewater team and sincere interest in our progress."

Nicole Crooks, Senior Manager - Human Resources, Industrial and External RelationsCentral Bank of Trinidad & Tobago