President’s Blog: April 7, 2017
President's Blog

President’s Blog: April 7, 2017

Volunteer Appreciation; Kelly Milton; Marine Science Partnership      …

Volunteer Appreciation; Kelly Milton; Marine Science Partnership





Dear Friend:

On Tuesday evening we celebrated the volunteers of Mystic Aquarium at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Night.  It is a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to the 500 people who give their time and talent to the mission and programs of Mystic Aquarium.

Staff from various departments produced some very funny video vignettes showcasing how vital volunteers are to every aspect of our organization.  Our Manager of Volunteer Services, Kathy Freeman, did an excellent job organizing the evening.

In her remarks, Kathy noted that in the past year, volunteers contributed 46,775 hours of service at Mystic Aquarium for a total cash value of $1.28 million.

What is very striking about our program is the high rate of continuity among our volunteers and the longevity of service.  During the evening we recognized an astounding number of volunteers who’ve been with us for ten years or more.

Volunteers with more than 10 years of service:

  • Kim Blake
  • Hilary Chivian
  • Sandy Cobb
  • John Drew
  • Marliese Friedman
  • Jim Gerber
  • Kasi Kelly
  • Robert Liptrot
  • Jane Macierowski
  • Lila Nicholson
  • Durrell Rader
  • Alan Riggs
  • Bernadette Riggs
  • Marchelle Savage
  • Susan Steiner
  • Sherri Tessitore


Volunteers with more than 15 years of service:

  • Sherri Burdette
  • Pamela Carr
  • Rita Madison


Volunteers with more than 20 years of service:

  • Kristen Borg
  • Cheri Bovia
  • Donna Dione
  • Susan Rheaume


Each year we also recognize individuals who have given the most hours during the past year.
Sarah Wagner ~ 450 hours

Sarah Wagner

Durell Rader ~ 458 hours

Lauren Tierney ~ 460 hours

 Lila Nicholson ~ 504 hours

Dick Katz ~ 538 hours

Marliese Freidman ~ 710 hours

 Mary Barravecchia ~ 741 hours

Rachael Desfosses ~ 878 hours

Katy Freeman ~ 1,630 hours

Katy Freeman


Kelly Milton

This week Kelly Milton retired from Mystic Aquarium after 28 years in Guest Services.  She stepped down as Director of Guest Services last October, but stayed on part-time to assist with the the implementation of a new software system that I referenced last week.

Kelly Milton
Kelly, with her husband Gary

Kelly left a “booklet” for me with her thoughts on Guest Services.  It is concise and insightful and I want to share it with you as it really speaks more generally to lessons on life:

Kelly's GS Manual Cover

Kelly's GS Manual p1

Kelly's GS Manual p2

Kelly's GS Manual p3

Thank you, Kelly, for your dedication and service.


Marine Science Magnet Partnership

Mystic Aquarium enjoys an excellent partnership with the Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton, Connecticut.  Mystic Aquarium Scientist, Dr. Paul Anderson, coordinates this program.  Please see this link to learn more about it:

Congratulations to Paul on this wonderful effort.  Recently, Mystic Aquarium received a $25,000 grant from Sea World and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and Rising Tide Conservation to support the program.  The award and program were featured in the recent (March 2017) edition of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums magazine, Connect.  If you would like to read it, please click the following hyperlink: AZA Connect Article.


For those of you who celebrate religious holidays over the next week, be assured of my best wishes.

We look forward to welcoming thousands of guests to Mystic Aquarium over the next two weeks as various schools have one or the other week for spring break.

See you all soon!




The Latest

Press Releases


Mystic, Conn. (February 12, 2019): Over the last few years,…

Research Spotlight: Celebrate World Whale Day With Conservation

By Dr. Laura Thompson, Mystic Aquarium Researcher Today, February 9,…
Press Releases


Mystic, Conn. (January 22, 2019): Mystic Aquarium recently announced that…