Ken and his wife Debbie Wreyford have always been collectors. As children, he started with Lincoln pennies and models, and she loved books. What started as childhood hobbies have become extensive collections of artifacts, with many of their items on display at leading museums coast to coast.
As lifelong space enthusiasts, the Winans have been able to amass one the largest private collections of U.S., Russian, and Soviet space exploration artifacts. These items range from a full sized Gemini capsule boilerplate to maps carried to the moon on the Apollo missions. In 2002, they founded The W Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to public education on the history and future benefits of space exploration through public exhibits of their collection. Many of these unique artifacts are on permanent display in the Bay Area at the USS Hornet Museum, Chabot Space & Science Center and The Space Station Museum.
An early indication that Ken Winans was destined for a career in the investment arena was his avid interest in reading The Wall Street Journal as a 15-year-old high school student. His parents gave him family heirlooms several hundred years old that were financial in nature. The extensive collection includes an Edison ticker tape, stock certificates signed by John Rockefeller, Colonial real estate deeds, and bond indentures once owned by Andrew Carnegie was been obtained throughout his career. Many of these items are on permanent display at The Museum of American Finance in New York and at the San Francisco Business Exhibit in the CFA Society office in San Francisco.
The Space Station Museum
“The Space Station” is a privately funded, volunteered staffed space exploration museum that is operated by The W Foundation. TWF owns one of the largest private collections of U.S., Russian and Soviet space exploration artifacts.
The Space Station was founded by Ken Winans and Debbie Wreyford in 2011. It is an innovation in museum exhibits in that vacant commercial space is filled and the public gains a new education venue in their local neighborhood through private contributions. It is located in the Pacheco Plaza, a shopping center located in the upscale Ignacio neighborhood of Novato.