John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art welcomes Declan J. Sheehy as the new associate director of development

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The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art welcomes Declan J. Sheehy as the new associate director of development.

“The Ringling is excited to bring Declan aboard,” Steven High, executive director of The Ringling said. “He is an accomplished professional with achievements in development who will strengthen an already excellent team.”

This new position, reporting to Senior Director of Development Anna E. von Gehr, will further strengthen the museum’s engagement with its donors. Sheehy will be working closely with museum supporters with a special focus on planned giving and major gifts to The Ringling.

“I am thrilled to join the Development team at The Ringling,” Sheehy said. “This position merges a passion for philanthropy with a keen interest in higher education and the arts. There is something for everyone at The Ringling, and I look forward to sharing this message with new audiences. Development enables The Ringling to bring in amazing exhibitions from around the world. Working at The Ringling is my dream job”.

Prior to joining The Ringling, Sheehy served as the assistant director of special gifts for the Smith Fund at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. He oversaw fundraising, outreach, special gifts and strategic prospecting. Sheehy also managed the creation of new programs and revamped the Sophia Smith giving circle program. Before that he served as the Director of Development and Outreach at the American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, Mass.

Outside of work, he was a founding partner of the Berkshire County, Mass. Women’s Financial Empowerment speaker series. He has served on the board of Tanglewood Business Partners, Berkshares local currency initiate, and he was state president of the Massachusetts Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy where he planned numerous events to further the cause of financial literacy. The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.

Originally from Ireland, Sheehy is a graduate of the Dublin Institute of Technology and the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

“Sarasota has all of the cultural attractions of my previous home, the Berkshires, with none of the arctic weather,” Sheehy said.

Sheehy and his wife Laura visited the area many times before moving, and they are looking forward to, according to Sheehy “calling Sarasota our forever home, we could not be happier to be here”.

“We are thrilled to welcome Declan to the community and to our team,” Anna von Gehr, director of development at The Ringling said. “His expertise, wit, and passion for the arts will serve our donors well at this tremendous period of growth and transformation.  Philanthropy is changing the face of The Ringling and I know our supporters will enjoy working with Declan in creating a lasting impact on this beloved cultural gem.”

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