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Rhode Island Zoological Society (RIZS) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports and maintains Roger Williams Park Zoo. RIZS works to secure the public and private sector support that the Zoo needs to continue to develop new world-class exhibits, make significant contributions to conservation, and to serve the community as a valuable source of environmental education, recreation, and economic development.

By the mid 1960’s, like so many zoos across the country, Roger Williams Park Zoo was showing visible signs of neglect. One determined individual, Sophie Danforth, recognized that the Zoo was an extremely valuable institution in need of organized assistance. She founded The Society in 1962 to increase public awareness and support for the Zoo, and to raise funds from the private sector. All trustees are fully independent, voting members of the Board. They serve the Society’s mission with no remuneration.

BOARD MEMBERS

PATRICK T. LEBEAU

CHAIR Executive Director, Private Wealth Advisor – Morgan Stanley

NANCY J. ALLEN

VICE CHAIR Community Representative

SANDY COLETTA

VICE CHAIR Community Representative

MARGARET FERGUSON

SECRETARY Community Representative

KRISTEN ADAMO

TREASURER President of PWCVB

MARTHA BOWER

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Community Representative

DOUGLAS CANIGLIA

BOARD OF TRUSTEES CSI DCI Construction, Inc.

BARBARA S. COTTAM

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Rhode Island Market Executive, Citizens Bank

SARAH DENBY

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Community Representative

DANA GOLDBERG

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Vice President, Tax, Textron Inc.

DR. MARTA GÓMEZ-CHIARRI

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Chair Department of Fisheries, Animal & Veterinary Science, URI

KIMBERLEY M. LITTLE

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Community Representative

LIZ ROLLINS MAURAN

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Community Representative

JEFFREY MELLO

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Dean of the School of Business at Rhode Island College

HOWARD MERTEN

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Managing Partner Partridge, Snow & Hahn

JOHN J. PALUMBO

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Owner, President & Publisher, RI Monthly Communications, Inc.

STEVEN M. PARENTE

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Senior V.P., Director of Retail Banking, Bank RI

DR. KAREN E. SILVA

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Department Chairperson of Graduate Business Programs, Johnson & Wales University

MARIBETH Q. WILLIAMSON

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Community Representative


Chairman Emeritus

Sophie F. Danforth*

Trustees Emeritus

  • Margaret E. Curran, Esq.
  • Thomas P. Dimeo
  • Jocelin Hamblett
  • James S. Harper III, VMD*
  • Bradford B. Kopp
  • Arthur D. Little
  • Nancy G.R. Moger
  • Richard Nadeau
  • Jane S. Nelson
  • Cate M. Roberts
  • Philip A. Segal, Jr.
  • Robert F. Stoico

Ex-Officio

  • Wendy Nilsson, Superintendent of Parks

Management

  • Stacey Johnson, Executive Director, RI Zoological Society and Roger Williams Park Zoo
  • Ron Patalano, Deputy Director of Operations
  • Dave Pertuso, Chief Administrative Officer
  • Amy Roberts, Director of Animal Programs
  • Sheri Avery, Director of Human Resources
  • Shareen Knowlton, Director of Education
  • Gina Cantelmo, Director of Development
  • Vicki Scharfberg, Director of Marketing & PR
  • Lou Perrotti, Director of Conservation Programs
  • Cheryl Vieira, Director of Visitor Services
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