Kathryn (Katy) Fuller, the do-it-all operations director for the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, has worn many hats in her decade with the organization.

One is a hard hat.

Ms. Fuller started at the museum as a teenage marketing and events intern, hosting the annual fundraising gala Evening of Discovery, and helping with graphic design. Eleven years later, she’s become as invaluable to the museum as its collection, working behind the scenes to court donors, plan programs, memorize the museum’s entire fundraising database, and run the logistical, day-to-day operations of the facility.

But ever since the museum embarked on its $31 million project to convert the former marine hospital in Vineyard Haven into a permanent exhibition space, set to open to the public next week, Ms. Fuller — a former business student from Bourne who looks young enough to be on the field trips that she hosts — has had to don a different sort of cap, serving as the effective project manager and contracting liaison for one of the largest nonprofit development ventures in Island history.

Museum devoted an elevator in new building to Ms. Fuller because "she raises everyone up." — Thomas Hausthor

“It’s kind of scary when I think about it,” she said. “Because I feel like people look to me for all the answers. Which is nice to know people feel that way, but it is also a lot of pressure.”

Among a staff full of curators, librarians, educators and history wonks who tend to dwell on the big picture, Ms. Fuller thrives on thinking about the little things. She’s a planner and compartmentalizer, a pragmatist obsessed with the future surrounded by a sea of idealists obsessed with the past. When others are thinking about the caterer for the Evening of Discovery, she’s thinking about the mega-donor who’s allergic to shellfish. It’s what makes her good at her job. Her many jobs.

“To this day, my coworkers are all like, we have an online donor database — and then we have Katy’s head,” Ms. Fuller said.

When construction began on the Vineyard Haven campus two years ago, the general contractor, Consigli, told the museum that they needed someone on staff with whom they could check in. Museum executive director Phil Wallis tapped Ms. Fuller for the job, asking her to attend weekly meetings at the contractor’s site trailer.

“I was like, okay,” Ms. Fuller recalled. “And then it became my life. While I was still doing the rest of my job.”

Legendary heath hen will be on display when the museum opens this week. — Thomas Hausthor

Since those early days, the museum has accomplished what was once an unthinkable task — moving an entire campus from downtown Edgartown to a hilltop in Vineyard Haven. It took relentless fundraising, dogged curatorial work, deft object transfers and a lot of elbow grease. But it also took someone who could unlock the building at 2 a.m. on a Saturday, someone who could be on her phone at all hours of the day, who could deal with the press, the board of directors, the cabinet makers and the mount-makers. Someone who didn’t just know the Steamship Authority schedule, but could call in a favor to work around it.

That person, of course, was Katy Fuller. And the crazy part is that she doesn’t even like museums. Hasn’t for her entire life.

“Anyone that knows me would tell you that if I go places, museums are probably one of the last places that I choose to go,” she said. She prefers amusement parks, beaches, sporting events, and shopping malls. “I’m not one of those people who takes in all the content in a gallery well. I find it overwhelming. Which actually the curators here found very helpful.”

Even crazier than Ms. Fuller’s indifference toward museums in general is how much she loves this one in particular. She lives in Bourne, and has commuted from there for the past 11 years.

“I wouldn’t commute for four hours a day if I didn’t like what I was doing,” she said.

Ms. Fuller started a tradition when she was an intern to bake for her coworkers on their birthdays. Eventually, the bus drivers and Steamship Authority employees noticed her with boxes of cupcakes. One finally had the temerity to ask for one himself. Ms. Fuller asked for the entire bus driver roster so she could be ready for their birthdays too.

Museum centerpiece — the Fresnel lens.

“You see some of these people who you’re around for four hours a day, whether it’s bus drivers or dock workers or other commuters, and over the course of time you just talk to them,” Ms. Fuller said. “And then you bake for them . . . For me, I don’t dread when that boat docks in Vineyard Haven. I’m like, Oh, I get to go to work!”

Ms. Fuller completed two summer internships, commuting back and forth at sunrise and sunset. She then worked for the museum part time while she took five grad school classes at Bentley College. Eventually the museum offered her a full-time position. They wouldn’t let her refuse.

“It was crazy,” Ms. Fuller said. “But I really believed in our mission and what we were doing. I could just kind of tell we were on the cusp of doing something. And that was May 2011.”

A few months later, two donors came to the museum and said that this big, beautiful old building on the top of a hill overlooking Lagoon Pond was being put up for sale by the St. Pierre family. The rest was history. The project and Ms. Fuller’s career have been inextricably linked.

“Because I hadn’t been part of a failed project, I always believed in it,” Ms. Fuller said. “And I was just naive. I was young, but I thought of course we could do it.”

The process hasn’t been easy. Wild winter weather and even wilder original 1895 wooden floors have frustrated employees and pushed back opening dates. But just as Ms. Fuller’s lack of interest in museums has ironically made her the perfect museum employee, her commute to Martha’s Vineyard has made her the perfect construction liaison.

“A big part of my success as the staff liaison to the project is that so many people working on this building I would see on the boat every day, and I already knew,” Ms. Fuller said. Cupcakes go a long way.

“I always use the analogy with the museum that we are the little engine that could,” she said.

In December, when the museum hosted 200 people for a Christmas party and early sneak peak, Ms. Fuller was initially disappointed that delays in the project had prevented artifacts from going on display. But the bare walls allowed the building Katy Fuller had worked on for a third of her life to shine. After the museum dedicated the elevator to Ms. Fuller — “because she raises everyone up” — one board member told her that if the museum was the little engine that could, she was the conductor.

“I think for the first time I realized that I was really involved in this,” Ms. Fuller said. “I look back at how I got here, and I think, the girl who was really never interested in museums, went and built a museum. I think about the people who said we couldn’t do it. And I’m like, come see it. Because we did.”