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The Friends organization exists to provide financial support to the zoo through funds dedicated to the welfare of our animals, our educational programs and our family-friendly facilities.  It is the generous support of our sponsors, donors, members and zoo visitors that enable us to meet this mission. You can be certain that your membership dollars are invested with care and in support of the zoo. We extend our heartfelt appreciation for your support.

Friends of the Zoo is honored to partner with Onondaga County in support of a community resource that contributes to the quality of life in the Central New York area. We pledge our efforts to work tirelessly to help sustain the quality and diversity of the animal collection at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park.

Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is governed by a Board of Directors whose members are elected by Friends members. Officers of the Board are elected by members of the board. Members are elected to serve three-year terms and may serve no more than two consecutive terms.

Our volunteer  board plays an essential role in the organization’s leadership, and its members bring skills, experience and talents to assist our partnership efforts with the zoo.


Ex Officio.

Carrie Large, Executive Director

Ted Fox, Director, Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Brian Kelley, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation

Board of Directors.

Al Gough, Chair
Terry Hopkins, Vice Chair
Jamie Card, Treasurer
Peter Belyea, Secretary

Dr. Zina Berry
Debra Cody
Ryan Elliott
Heidi Holtz
Jaime Hunsicker
Benjamin Hussong
Laura Iorio
Carl Isley
Bishop Colette Matthews-Carter
Kathy O’Connell
Melissa Oliver
Melissa Piper
Jean Marie Russo
Natalie Scavone

Senior Staff.

Allison Angona, Membership Manager

Chuck Anthony, Director of Food and Beverage

Phil Austin, Director of Finance

Stephanie Brooks, Catering at the Zoo Sales Manager

Kim Coons, Director of Education & Volunteer Services

Janet "J" Gramza, Communications Manager

Debbi Licamele, HR Manager
Maria Simmons, Director of Marketing & Communications

Heidi Strong, Director of Development

Sabrina Sweet, Gift Shop Manager/Buyer 


Public Information.

Most Recent Form 990: Download PDF

Most Recent Financial Statement: Download PDF