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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

Board Chair headshot - Patrick LeBeau

PATRICK T. LEBEAU

CHAIR Executive Director, Private Wealth Advisor – Morgan Stanley

Board member headshot - Nancy Allen

NANCY J. ALLEN

VICE CHAIR Community Representative

Board member headshot - Sandy Coletta

SANDY COLETTA

VICE CHAIR Community Representative

Board member headshot - Meg Ferguson

MARGARET FERGUSON

SECRETARY Community Representative

Board member headshot - Maribeth Williamson

Maribeth Q. Williamson

TREASURER
Community Representative

Board member headshot - Martha Bower

MARTHA BOWER

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Community Representative

Board Member Headshot - Douglas Caniglia

DOUGLAS CANIGLIA

BOARD OF TRUSTEES CSI DCI Construction, Inc.

Board member headshot - Claire Carrabba

CLAIRE CARRABBA

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Associate Attorney, Day Pitney LLC

Board member headshot - Cheryl Cohen

CHERYL COHEN

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Board member headshot - Sarah Denby

SARAH DENBY

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Community Representative

Board member headshot - Cindy Erickson

CINDY ERICKSON

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Board member headshot - Pamela Heffernan

PAMELA W. HEFFERNAN

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Board member headshot - Liz Rollins Mauran

LIZ ROLLINS MAURAN

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Community Representative

Damaris Messina Board Member Headshot

DAMARIS MESSINA

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Director of Sales, Aloft Providence Downtown

Board member headshot - John Igliozzi

JOHN IGLIOZZI, ESQ.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Board Member Headshot - Howard Merten

HOWARD MERTEN

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Managing Partner Partridge, Snow & Hahn

Board member headshot - John Palumbo

JOHN J. PALUMBO

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

Board member headshot - Steve Parente

STEVEN M. PARENTE

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

Board member headshot - Karen Silva

DR. KAREN E. SILVA

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


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, Chief Operating Officer
  • Dave Pertuso, Chief Administrative Officer
  • Sheri Avery, Director of Human Resources
  • Shareen Knowlton, Chief Strategy & Engagement Officer
  • Vicki Scharfberg, Director of Marketing & PR
  • Amy Roberts, Chief Zoological Officer
  • Kimberlee Wojick, Director of Veterinary Services
  • Danielle Mosteller, Director of Guest Services
  • Tempie Thompson, Director of Development
  • Lou Perrotti, Director of Conservation Programs
  • Leigh Picard, Director of Guest Engagement
  • Vincent Reilly, Facility Director
  • Andrea Stein, Director of Education
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