George Donnelly

Director of Development and Communications

George Donnelly 2015

Phone: 508-228-9198



George joined the staff of MMA in July 2014.  He has nearly 25 years of experience as a professional communicator, graphic designer, and fundraiser.  For ten years he served as the Director of Marketing and Advertising for Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT.  In that role, he helped to build attendance at Connecticut’s leading visitor attraction to more than 500,000 visitors annually.  He played an important role in developing the Penguin Pavilion exhibit which opened with the famed birder, Roger Tory Peterson.  He also ushered in technology exhibits by noted ocean explorer, Robert Ballard.  George worked as the Marketing and Communications Director for Connecticut’s Mystic & More, the convention and visitors bureau for southeastern Connecticut before serving as the Executive Director of the Providence Tourism Council in Rhode Island.  In that position he created and solicited funding for several large scale events including Rhode Island Treasures, a 30-day exhibit of original and historic artifacts and documents that trace Rhode Island’s history. He later served as the Vice President of Marketing and Communication for the Providence Convention and Visitors Bureau, a position he held before striking out on his own as a communication consultant for seven years.  His client list included the Rhode Island Division of Tourism, Rhode Island Governor’s Office, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Blount Small Ship Adventures, George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom, Historic Touro Synagogue, and many area Chambers of Commerce.  Just prior to joining MMA, he served as the Executive Director of The Matty Fund, an organization that helps children and families living with epilepsy.

Early in his professional career, he worked separating and identifying zooplankton for the National Marine Fisheries Service.  Soon after, he moved to California to work as a research scientist at Pfizer, working on breakthroughs for open heart surgery.  Upon returning to Rhode Island in 1982, he went to work as a medical researcher at Brown University studying gestational diabetes.

He attended Roger Williams College (University) where he studied marine biology.


George is an avid musician, playing acoustic guitar for more than 40 years.  He also enjoys volunteering his graphic design skills to help other nonprofits hone their message.  He has won numerous awards for his layout and design including multiple awards by the New England Newspaper and Press Associates for work done at the Block Island Times.  He has been recognized by the American Alliance of Museums and has presented at the national conference at the regional New England Association of Museums.  He won a Telly Award for a video he produced as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Intrepid Sea and Air Museum.

Community Involvement

George is an official Ambassador of the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce and welcome new members to the Chamber.