Help us Meet the 50 for 50 Challenge!

$50K for 50 Years!

Skip Lockwood Friends of the Zoo Interim Executive Director

The Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is 50 years old this year, and we’re celebrating by doing what we do best: support the zoo! Our $50K for 50 Years campaign aims to raise $50,000 for the zoo by the end of 2020. This fundraiser will help us recover our footing after the recent closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since our founding in 1970, Friends of the Zoo has grown from a small group of citizens devoted to improving their zoo to a key partner of the zoo that supports its AZA missions of top-notch animal care, nature education and saving species.

Over 50 years, Friends has helped fund many zoo improvements and key exhibits including the USS Antiquities exhibit, Amur tiger exhibit, Penguin Coast, Primate Park and the Helga Beck Asian Elephant Preserve. We are currently funding the renovation of the former lion exhibit to create a new Amur leopard exhibit, the Zalie & Bob Linn Amur Leopard Woodland slated to open this summer. We also operate the Jungle Café, the Curious Cub Gift Shop, Catering at the Zoo, membership, volunteer services and an education department that brings lessons on nature and wildlife conservation to thousands of children and adults each year.

To launch the “50 for 50” campaign, the 22-member Friends of the Zoo Board of Directors each pledged to donate at least $50 each, and Friends staff and volunteers followed suit. Now we are asking the public to pitch in with a donation of any amount in hopes of crowd-funding our $50 K goal by the end of the year.

Please consider pitching in with a donation of any amount at

Together, we can help give our zoo a strong start to the next 50 years. Thank you for supporting your zoo!

Quentin “Skip” Lockwood
Interim Executive Director
Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

#GivingZOODay arrives Tuesday, May 5

Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo 50th Anniversary Logo

Skip Lockwood Friends of the Zoo Interim Executive Director

The Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is joining our community of accredited animal care institutions, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), in a crowd-funding day — Tuesday, May 5 — in conjunction with #GivingTuesdayNOW. Tuesday is also an important date for the Friends – it marks our 50th year supporting the best in animal care and conservation education.

#GivingZOODay is a special day organized by AZA and to help zoos and aquariums that have been operating with no revenue since mid-March due to the COVOD-19 crisis.

Although we are closed to the public, your zoo’s commitment to animal care and welfare, conservation education and saving species has not wavered, and our essential animal care teams continue to give their all to ensure every animal in their care is safe, healthy, engaged and enriched throughout this crisis.

Our goal is to collectively raise $10,000 on Tuesday, through donations of any amount, to help the zoo take all the precautions we need to reopen SAFELY for our public, our staff and our animals.

Please visit our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platforms to participate in #GivingZOODay on Tuesday. Or, if you would like to start the ball rolling with a gift right now, please click the donate button below.

Happy GivingZOODay and thank you for any amount you can contribute on behalf of your zoo!

Quentin “Skip” Lockwood
Interim Executive Director
Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Friends of the Zoo Names Interim Executive Director

Skip Lockwood Friends of the Zoo Interim Executive Director

Quentin “Skip” Lockwood III will lead the Friends organization during a national search

The Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo has appointed Quentin “Skip” Lockwood III as its interim executive director while it embarks on a national search for a new President and CEO.

The non-profit partner of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is seeking a new leader after former Friends President and CEO Janet Agostini retired after 13 years at its helm early this year.

Friends of the Zoo Board Chair Heidi Holtz said Lockwood was the board’s first choice for an interim because he has many years of experience with non-profits and is skilled at leading organizations through transition periods.

“Skip has a reputation for uniting and motivating the staff and board members of non-profits to accomplish ambitious goals,” Holtz said. “We know he will go beyond the task of launching a national search for a new leader and will also do some serious leading in the interim.”

Friends of the Zoo is the non-profit partner of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo that manages business operations and financially supports the zoo by raising funds and awareness of the zoo as a civic gem and top tier zoo in the nation. It was founded as a small group of zoo supporters in 1970, and is marking its 50th year this year.

Lockwood, a native of North Syracuse, is a graduate of William Jewell College in Liberty, MO, where he was an Oxbridge Honors student who spent his junior year at Cambridge University in England undertaking honors studies in history, geography and political science.

He then earned his master’s degree in American Government from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He ran his own consulting firm in Washington, D.C. providing government relations services relative to the evolving legal framework around the then-new Internet to corporations, nonprofits, academic organizations, trade associations, and consumer groups.

In 2001, he was tapped to lead a nearly bankrupt cancer nonprofit, ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer – and transformed it into an award-winning, multimillion dollar, best-in-class organization while serving as President and CEO five years, COO four years, Board member four years, and Chairman of the Board two years.

He now owns and operates a boutique consulting firm – QL3 Strategies — that provides nonprofits with the technical, ethical, strategic, and operational expertise necessary for fulfilling their missions.

Lockwood said he jumped at the chance to help Friends of the Zoo transition to new leadership, and that his three sons – a 7-year-old and 5-year-old twins – are jealous of his zoo gig.

While he has no prior zoo experience, Lockwood said he and his wife, Julie, care for many pets including a pencil urchin, two clownfish, a guinea pig named Snickers, a parakeet, three chickens, one guinea hen, a turkey named Tom and a Golden retriever named Piper.

Lockwood and his family reside in Skaneateles.