At The Sports Museum, we celebrate the character of Boston sports -- the unique brand of teamwork, determination, responsibility, courage, fairness, and other qualities of character possessed by our teams and athletes that make Boston "The Greatest Sports City in America." Equally important, we use this distinctly rich heritage to help build character in kids so that they can stand strong in the face of drugs, violence, and other dangers.
Rusty SullivanExecutive Director
Rusty Sullivan has served as the Executive Director of The Sports Museum since 2005.
During his tenure, Rusty has helped The Sports Museum forge a new strategic mission centered around using the power and platform of Boston sports to help kids; conceptualized and driven the creation of mission-driven educational programs such as Boston vs. Bullies and Stand Strong that have impacted more than 50,000 kids in our community over the past decade; and led the fundraising efforts that has fueled these programs and resulted in The Sports Museum nearly tripling its annual revenues.
Previously, Rusty was a Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Linkage, Inc., a worldwide leadership development company. While at Linkage, he led the company's Market and Strategy Development Team, headed the Training business unit, and helped develop several of Linkage's hallmark educational programs, products, and services.
Rusty is the author of the acclaimed Rocky Marciano: The Rock of His Times (University of Illinois Press, 2002), a book that was favorably reviewed in the New York Times Book Review and other leading publications. He is also a contributing author of The Rock, the Curse, and the Hub: A Random History of Boston Sports (Harvard University Press, 2005), as well as the Associate Producer of the documentary Rocky: A Life Story and Producer of Impossible to Forget: The Story of the '67 Boston Red Sox.
Rusty is a graduate of Yale University (where he was the Sports Editor of the Yale Daily News) and Harvard Law School.
RICHARD A. JOHNSONCurator
Richard A. Johnson has served as Curator of The Sports Museum since 1982. He has also authored or co-authored twenty three books including: “Unfinished Odyssey, The Life and Legend of Harry Agganis” ,“Field of Our Fathers, An Illustrated History of Fenway Park”, “The Patriots, Yesterday and Today”, “The Boston Marathon”, “The Cubs,” "The American Game: Baseball. Ethnicity, and The American Dream” (editor), "The Boston Braves", "A Century of Boston Sports", "Red Sox Century", "DiMaggio, An Illustrated Life", "The Twentieth Century Baseball Chronicle", "Players of Cooperstown", "Young at Heart, The Story of Johnny Kelley", “The Celtics in Black and White” (with his son, Robert Johnson), "Fall Classics, The Best Writing on the World Series", “Yankees Century", "The Dodgers, 120 years of Dodger Baseball", "The Bruins in Black and White” (2 volumes), "The Boston Garden" and "Ted Williams, A Portrait in Words and Pictures". The latter title was selected as one of the "noteworthy books of 1991" by the New York Times Book Review.
He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the genre of baseball cartooning and a history of the New England Patriots with Glenn Stout.
With The Sports Museum, Mr. Johnson has mounted exhibits on topics as diverse as: "Women in Sports, Insights from Her Past", “Rocky Marciano, The Rock of His Times”, “Stylianos Kyriakides, The Human Race”, "Boston's Braves 1876-1952", "Fenway Park, From Duffy's Cliff to the Green Monster", "The World Cup" (in collaboration with The British Council), "The Sports Photographs of Leslie Jones" along with many others.
From 2006-2008, Mr. Johnson served as Chair of the Harold and Dorothy Seymour Medal Selection Committee for the Society for American Baseball Research. The Seymour Medal is awarded annually to the best baseball book of the year.
In 2010 he was awarded the Will Cloney Award by the Boston Athletic Association for services to the New England running community and in 2012 the Dropkick Murphys recorded his song “Jimmy Collins Wake” and included it on their cd entitled “Signed and Sealed in Blood.”
Johnson graduated from Bates College, where he was a member of the varsity cross country and indoor track teams. In 1982, he joined The Sports Museum as its first employee.
BRIAN CODAGNONEAssociate Curator
Brian Codagnone has been involved with The Sports Museum in a variety of capacities since 1988 and now serves as Associate Curator. He's also a cartoonist, writer, sports historian, military historian, consultant, reenactor and washed up hockey player. He is the author of the books "The Hartford Whalers", "Hey, America! It's Misfits Time!" and "Emotional Chaos" and co-author of "The Boston Garden" and "The Bruins in Black and White". He is also the creator of the comic strips "Misfits", "S1019" and "In The Zone" and the humor column "Emotional Chaos" for the internet syndicate Corbett Features. He has also been a contributor to the films "Hockey's Greatest Era 1942-1966", "The War That Made America", "The History of the Boston Bruins", and "The Battle of Comm Ave.: Boston University vs. Boston College".
Michelle GormleyDirector of Education
Michelle has been with The Sports Museum since 2000. During this time she has overseen the dynamic shift in The Museum's educational focus to include community outreach and Social Emotional Learning. She created the outreach programs Stand Strong and The Will McDonough Writing Contest, and is responsible for the implementation and management of Boston vs Bullies across Massachusetts.
Michelle co-authored the Boston vs Bullies Facilitator's Guide and Boston vs. Bullies: Including Kids With Disabilities in Bullying Prevention. The part of her job she finds most rewarding is working with amazing kids and collaborating with dedicated youth workers and educators.Prior to joining The Sports Museum, she worked at Boston University as the Senior Assistant Director of Student Employment. Since 1991, Michelle has enjoyed connecting visitors to Boston with the city's unique history through her part-time role as Park Ranger for Boston National Historical Park.
Michelle is a graduate of Stonehill College.
Deborah KimEducation Coordinator
Deborah Kim has served as the Education Coordinator of the Sports Museum since June 2017. Debbie assists in the implementation, scheduling, and database upkeep for the outreach programs Boston vs. Bullies and Stand Strong, as well as the Will McDonough Writing Contest.
Debbie has been with the Sports Museum since 2015. Prior to her role as Education Coordinator, she served as a Museum Assistant, where she led guests on tours of the arena and assisted with day-to-day operations. During her time at Northeastern University she served as a Contracts Assistant with their Center for Student Involvement and completed a co-op with the Friends of John Coltrane Memorial Concert, Inc. as a promotion and production assistant.
Deborah received her Bachelor of Science in Music from Northeastern University.
Ashley WalentaDevelopment Manager
Ashley Walenta has served as the Development Manager of The Sports Museum since July 2016. Ashley assists in establishing and defining development functions and formal fundraising programs for The Sports Museum, including planning and executing on fundraising activities for major events and initiatives such as The Tradition, The Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, Boston vs Bullies and many more. She also manages communication plans to deepen stakeholder engagement, while ensuring that The Sports Museum’s development goals are met.
Previously, Ashley was the Event Coordinator at Blue Sky Sports & Entertainment, LLC. In this role, she developed and facilitated large scale events for a variety of non-profit organizations, including assisting with the solicitation and activation of key corporate sponsors. Additionally, Ashley built and maintained corporate and athlete/celebrity client relationships while coordinating all aspects of marketing deals. Furthermore, she managed Blue Sky’s brand marketing through social media, e-communications and website development.
Ashley received her Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from Endicott College.
Maria KangasDevelopment Associate
Maria Kangas has served as the Development Associate of The Sports Museum since October 2016. Maria assists in day-to-day operations of major fundraising events and initiatives, such as The Tradition, The Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, Boston vs Bullies, and many more. She also helps with communication and marketing plans to ensure that The Sports Museum meets its annual revenue goals.
Previously, Maria took on a number of internships before she graduated college in May of 2016. Her most enjoyable internship was at PUMA, where she developed and executed marketing events in PUMA stores around the country. Maria’s other has also had experience writing blog posts for Dog Health News Publication, as well as planning in-house events at TJX Companies.
Maria received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing Communications from Endicott College.