Cape Ann Business Briefcase

JASON GROW/Courtesy photo/Backyard Growers has named Gloucester resident Melanie Murray-Brown its new development director

Melanie Murray-Brown has joined Backyard Growers as the Gloucester nonprofit’s new development director.

“Melanie is a Gloucester powerhouse and we’re so excited to have her lead the charge fundraising for gardens and food access in our community and beyond,” said Courtney Allen, Backyard Growers’ communications and client manager in an email announcing the appointment.

Previously, Murray-Brown served at Gloucester Stage Company as development director for two seasons and at Maritime Gloucester for nine years in the role of vice chair and member of its Board of Directors.

In the public sector, she was chief of staff to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. In Washington, D.C., she worked on international policy and communication at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after receiving a degree in international relations from American University.

Murray-Brown has served on Gloucester’s Planning Board, and volunteers at Sawyer Free Library and with refugee outreach at St. John’s Church.

She lives in Gloucester with her husband, Mark, and their three children. When not at a rugby game, concert, or the market, she said she can be found making dinner for friends and chasing rabbits out of her square foot garden.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the amazing team at Backyard Growers,” Murray-Brown said in a prepared statement. “I’ve admired Backyard Growers for over a decade. I believe in its power to make a positive impact on people’s lives throughout our schools, neighborhoods and beyond. I’m excited to be back at work at a nonprofit with a mission focused on the environment and healthy communities. It feels a little bit like going back to my roots.”

More information about Backyard Growers can be found on its website, Murray-Brown may be contacted at

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