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New mission-aligned partnerships elevate the complete guest experience of The Maritime Aquarium

NORWALK, CT  –  The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is elevating its complete guest experience by integrating the Tessitura ticketing and membership platform and SSA Group’s food services, while also bringing these key operations into alignment with the Aquarium’s mission of environmental conservation. 

With the two new partnerships, the Aquarium improves the interactions that occur before, after and in between the memorable animal encounters. Guests will find it easier to buy tickets, manage memberships and make donations, while also choosing from a new menu of sustainably sourced, made-to-order foods served through easy mobile ordering. 

“These new partnerships with Tessitura and SSA Group reflect our commitment to our guests. We want to ensure our guests have a world-class experience not just when they arrive at the Aquarium and enjoy our amazing exhibits, but when they first see us online, visit our website, buy their tickets, order a meal, or make a donation,” said Jason Patlis, President and CEO of The Maritime Aquarium. 

“These partnerships also help us deliver on our mission to inspire people to appreciate and protect Long Island Sound and the ocean,” Patlis said. “Through Tessitura and the new customer interface, we become more accessible and can more easily accommodate special needs. Through SSA Group and our new café offerings and catering, we are not only providing sustainable, locally sourced food options, but we are also improving all aspects of the café, including purchasing, preparation, service, disposal, and recycling to ensure a more sustainable operation. And, on top of that, the food is absolutely delicious!” 

Even before arriving at the Aquarium, guests will appreciate a smoother ticketing process. As two examples, the Tessitura customer relationship management (CRM) system makes it easier on the Aquarium’s website to discover upcoming events or to include 4D movie tickets while reserving Aquarium admission tickets. The new system also enables Aquarium members to better manage and renew their memberships. 

“We are thrilled to welcome The Maritime Aquarium to the Tessitura community,” said Mara Hazzard-Wallingford, Tessitura’s Chief Growth Officer. “We look forward to helping them improve their customer experience and increase their efficiency.” 

A non-profit tech company, Tessitura arose out of The Metropolitan Opera’s frustration with its ticketing and fundraising systems, and its board of trustees authorizing the creation of an integrated CRM system tailor-made for an arts and cultural organization. Tessitura’s technology now is used by more than 750 organizations in 10 countries, including Lincoln Center in New York, the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and – in Connecticut – the Westport Playhouse, the Yale Repertory Theatre, the Connecticut Science Center, the Shubert Theater and Hartford Stage, among others. 

SSA Group 

SSA has a stated commitment to sustainability, and is working to adopt a Climate Action Plan to explore the wider impacts that its operations can have on the global environment. 

Eli Grill, SSA Group Regional Vice President, said SSA is thrilled to partner with The Maritime Aquarium and to elevate both its daytime dining and its catered events. 

“We're bringing some innovative new enhancements we know guests will be excited to see,” Grill said. “From sustainable seafood options to partnerships with local brands like Longford Ice Cream, Deep River Snacks and LesserEvil, we're bringing fresh new flavors to the Cascade Café and Sound Bites Cafe. We're also integrating new ordering styles like mobile ordering to allow guests to skip the line and order from their phone when they're ready. The Maritime Aquarium is a staple to the local community and our team can't wait to support their guests and their mission.” 

SSA Group presents best-in-class services to more than 75 U.S. aquariums, zoos, museums and other cultural attractions, including the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island, the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. 

Learn more about exhibits, programs and special events – and food and facility-rental options – and purchase tickets at 
About Tessitura Network 
We are Tessitura, a non-profit tech company dedicated to helping arts and cultural organizations thrive. CRM lies at the heart of our mission and our technology platform. Ticketing works hand-in-hand with fundraising, membership, marketing, education, and front-of-house. Intuitive tools turn data into action. And features like timed admission, integrated streaming, and contactless scanning help build a sustainable future. With Tessitura, organizations can achieve their goals with ease. We work with over 750 organizations in 10 countries. Our staff provide 24/7 support and offer guidance to grow revenue and engagement. For more information, please visit 
About SSA Group  
SSA Group partners with cultural attractions across the United States to maximize their mission and streamline the guest experience across exquisite food services, guest-centric retail, and smart admissions. SSA makes visits to cultural attractions easier for 20 million families per year. With focuses like sustainability, technology and people, SSA brings products you can feel good about, smart technology to create efficiencies and friendly staff to each guest’s visit. Built by families, for families, SSA is a family-owned business headquartered in Denver, CO. To learn more, visit 
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Posted by Brianne Faust at 1:00 PM
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Our Mission

Mission: The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits, marine science, and environmental education.

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Open Daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Phone: (203) 852-0700

10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854

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