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Roger Williams Park Zoo Welcomes New Board Member

(Updated August 22)

Damaris Messina Board Member Headshot

PROVIDENCE, RI (August 22, 2023) Roger Williams Park Zoo is pleased to announce that Damaris R. Messina has joined the Rhode Island Zoological Society Board of Directors. The Zoo’s Board of Directors thoughtfully ensures the continued prosperity of the Zoo and furthers its efforts in conservation, education, and community outreach.

Messina is a Director of Hotel Sales for Aloft Providence Downtown, part of the Marriott International portfolio of hotels and has been with the company since 2013. Messina has an extensive background in the hospitality management and sales industries.

In her current role, Messina strategically oversees the sales & marketing efforts of the hotel while managing a budget of $9.5M. Messina is also fluent in English and Spanish, allowing her to connect with a larger audience in both her personal and professional lives.

Messina describes herself as a new mom, hospitality professional, and Zoo enthusiast. “Roger Williams Park Zoo is part of the fabric that makes me the woman I am today,” said Messina. “From my early days as a student at Johnson & Wales University when I volunteered as a pumpkin to greet families at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular Event, to taking my younger brother to summer camps at the zoo, to hosting my wedding at Roger Williams Botanical Center in 2011, and now as a mom of an animal lover boy.”

The 2023 Rhode Island Zoological Society Board of Directors now includes: Patrick T. Lebeau, Chair; Nancy Allen, Vice Chair; Sandra L. Coletta, Vice Chair; Margaret Ferguson, Secretary; Maribeth Q. Williamson, Treasurer; Martha Bower; Douglas Caniglia; Claire Carrabba; Cheryl Cohen; Barbara S. Cottam; Sarah Denby; Cindy Erickson; Pamela W. Heffernan; John Igliozzi; Liz Rollins Mauran; Howard Merten; Damaris R. Messina; John J. Palumbo; Steven M. Parente; Dr. Karen E. Silva.

To learn more about how to support Roger Williams Park Zoo please visit

Roger Williams Park Zoo is Rhode Island’s number one outdoor family and tourist attraction, and a leader in conservation efforts undertaken by a zoo of its size. As leaders in conservation and animal care – we create engaging experiences that empower guests to join us in conserving wildlife and wild places. Roger Williams Park Zoo is supported and managed by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and is owned by the City of Providence.

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