The Sailing Museum Expands Operational Capabilities With New Team Members In Key Positions

Newport, R.I. – The Board of Directors of The Sailing Museum and National Sailing Hall of Fame announced that three new hires have joined the staff: Jared Casci as Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator, Kelly Connell as Special Events Manager and Michelle Zachary as Development and Membership Manager.
“We’re so excited to expand our capabilities with these talented individuals joining our team,” said Ashley Householder, Executive Director. “They each come from such diverse backgrounds and bring to the table a great deal of potential for outstanding contribution to our work and mission. We know that they’re going to be amazing assets as we continue to promote and grow the programs at the Museum.”
In his new role as Administrator and Volunteer Coordinator, Casci will be providing cross-departmental support for administrative tasks and will be expanding the volunteer program through recruitment and training. He will be responsible for ensuring high-quality organization and delivery of all office-based activities and systems. Prior to this position, Casci had extensive experience in archival work at Mullerhaus Legacy in Oklahoma and the National Archives and Records Administration in Ohio. He also has a history of coordinating programming at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and for Walt Disney World. Casci has previously worked at the Museum as a Visitor Associate and has demonstrated a passion for its mission.
“Having worked at the Museum in the past I am very excited to join the team in this new capacity,” said Casci. “There is no other place like The Sailing Museum. It is both fun and educational, and a great resource to engage and excite current and future sailors.”
As Special Events Manager, Connell will be drawing from her background in wedding and events planning for Bristol, Rhode Island historic museum Linden Place. While there for 13 years, she planned and executed over one hundred weddings and large events each year. She also worked as an estate manager for three large households for over 20 years, with such responsibilities as organizing tours and large gatherings with creativity and a fine eye for detail. In her new position, Connell will be focused on furthering the Museum’s mission to engage with the community through programming, events and venue rentals. The daughter of a boatbuilder father and events specialist mother, Connell is a third-generation Newport resident.
“I am looking forward to drawing from my passion for networking and relationship building to help drive awareness of the Museum, not only for the exhibits, but also as a beautiful space for special events,” said Connell. “I love planning and managing events and feel very lucky to do so at this world-class location.”
Zachary’s prior experience includes work as a membership engagement specialist and administrative assistant for the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Her experience managing memberships and donor relations will transfer into her new position as Development and Membership Manager with The Sailing Museum. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the Museum’s donor and member databases and fundraising records, managing membership programs and engaging with donors and members for increased retention and expansion of the Museum’s membership base.
“I have always seen museums as unparalleled backdrops for the telling of a story, and storytelling is one of the most precious gifts we have to give,” said Zachary. “While visitors to The Sailing Museum are in for a once-in-a-lifetime treat, donors and members that make the Museum part of their lives are very special individuals. They are committed to the Museum’s mission of sharing the history and legacy of the sport and I look forward to future interaction with these vital partners.”
For more information on The Sailing Museum please visit To learn more about the National Sailing Hall of Fame, please visit

About National Sailing Hall of Fame

The National Sailing Hall of Fame was founded in 2004 as a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving the history of sailing and its impact on American culture; honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport; demonstrating its value as a hands-on tool for scholastic and life skills learning; and inspiring and encouraging sailing development and participation. The members of the National Sailing Hall of Fame are celebrated in The Sailing Museum located in Newport, RI.

About The Sailing Museum

The Sailing Museum, a 501c3 organization, features exhibits celebrating the National Sailing Hall of Fame and America’s Cup Hall of Fame. Located in the historic Armory Building on Thames Street in Newport, R.I. the museum brings incredible people and inspiring stories from across sailing together into one place that is accessible to all. Interactive educational exhibits provide real-world applications of STEAM concepts that come alive through sailing; and visitors of all ages, non-sailors and sailors alike, experience the magic that happens when wind and water meet.

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