Maureen Hanley has been named president and CEO of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. Hanley, who was chosen unanimously on Nov. 7 by the executive committee of the Aquarium’s Board of Trustees, will begin her new position on Nov. 12.
The Easton resident is the eighth president – and third woman to hold the position – in the 30-year history of the aquarium. She replaces Brian Davis, who left in May.
Hanley comes to the aquarium as a former community-banking executive who specialized in commercial lending. For the past four years, she was a senior vice president-team leader of United Bank. She previously was senior vice president and co-chair of the SNE Diversity Council for Commerce Bank/TD Bank (2006-14) and vice president, head of commercial real estate, at Fairfield County Bank (1994-2006).
“For years, Maureen has been an asset to Fairfield County in so many ways, and we’re thrilled to say that she is now The Maritime Aquarium’s asset,” said board Chairman Michael Widland. “She knows the aquarium, she knows this community, she knows the people, she has celebrated leadership skills and she understands the issues facing the aquarium in the next few years.”
The Maritime Aquarium is about to embark on significant changes in response to a federal project to replace the Walk railroad bridge that runs between the aquarium’s main building and its IMAX Theater. The multiyear replacement of the bridge is expected to begin in about a year. Aquarium officials recently negotiated with state and federal officials for a “functional replacement” agreement to build a new 4-D theater (in place of the IMAX Theater that must be razed) and to relocate and fortify elements of the aquarium to be lost and impacted during the bridge work.
“The aquarium has developed an excellent response that ensures the high level of animal care and guest experience that our visitors have come to expect,” Hanley said. “I’m excited to see this through, but to also seek new inspiring ways to tell the aquarium’s story about the Long Island Sound and to deepen the connections between our guests and our animals.”