As you may have heard, I have announced my plan to retire as President and CEO of Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo on January 10, 2020.
This job has occupied the past 13 years of my career, and it been the best job ever! However, I do look forward to spending more time with family, including my own fur babies, and on community volunteer pursuits.
It has been a great privilege to lead the Friends organization and to serve the millions of guests who have visited the zoo, the creatures that have called the zoo home –and, of course, you, our wonderful members.
I am exceedingly grateful for all the hard work and creativity of the team at Friends of the Zoo that have helped establish one of the most effective partner organizations in the zoo and aquarium world. These are not accomplishments that a CEO makes alone – they are the accomplishments of a dedicated team who work together relentlessly for a common goal.
Among the accomplishments that give me the greatest satisfaction are:
Transforming an organization that was $2 million in debt when I arrived into a financially healthy, debt-free entity with over $6 million in our endowment fund.
Raising more than $30 million in earned and unearned revenue to support the zoo.
Conducting successful capital campaigns that brought great zoo improvements including the Helga Beck Asian Elephant Preserve, Primate Park and renovations to the zoo banquet facilities and gift shop.
Our recent campaign that raised $400,000 to fully fund a new exhibit for our family of Amur leopards.
I have loved my years at Friends of the Zoo, and it has been my pleasure to lead the team at this fine organization. With a milestone year approaching, there’s a lot to look forward to — Among other highlights, 2020 will be the Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s 50th anniversary year!
I hope you will continue to support the Friends with your membership and your contributions to your world-class zoo. Thank you for making my time here so very special.
Janet Agostini President + CEO Friends of the Zoo