Remembering Paul Connolly

May 1, 1962 —Mar 29, 2017

The community of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts grieves the passing of Paul Matthew Connolly, Chair of the Board. Following a brief illness, Paul passed away peacefully on March 29, 2017 surrounded by his loving family and friends.

Paul served as the Chair of the Board at YBCA since March of 2016. His boundless energy, deep commitment, and extensive knowledge propelled YBCA’s pursuit of new models for contemporary art centers in the context of their communities.

We first met Paul through his highly regarded work as Chief Client Services Officer and Senior Partner with the TCC Group. Through his role at TCC, Paul lent his brilliance to the shaping of a very important initiative at YBCA funded by the James Irvine Foundation’s New California Arts Fund. Paul brought a remarkable depth of understanding of philanthropy and organizational development, and he shared his time, his expertise, and his resources with extraordinary generosity.

As Paul was transitioning from his long and distinguished career with TCC to take on the role of Director of Philanthropic Advisory Services at Bessemer Trust, we enticed him to join the Board of Directors at YBCA. He immediately and enthusiastically embraced his role as a leader and, within a year, was elected to be the Chair.

As our Board Chair, Paul worked tirelessly to build a culture of engagement and to help evolve the organization to new levels. He was a hands-on, extremely dedicated, and thoughtful partner. He showed up to every project, every meeting, and every event with joy and passion.

Paul was also a talented ceramist, the author of several books and papers, and a loving partner, uncle, brother, and friend. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the nonprofit sector has lost a brilliant and dedicated colleague, leader, and friend. Our thoughts are with Paul’s partner Chas Nol, his family and friends.

A public memorial service for Paul will be held in the YBCA Forum on April 23rd from 2 to 5 PM.

Deborah Cullinan
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts