Leadership

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM

Joe Couceiro

President & CEO

Joseph A. Couceiro currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Couceiro had been the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo. Couceiro has more than 30 years of strategic marketing and senior leadership experience at world-renowned conservation organizations. Before joining the Chicago Zoological Society in 2012, Couceiro worked for Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC), a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, successively taking on progressively more challenging senior leadership roles during a notable 20-year career. Couceiro’s background includes serving as Vice President of Marketing for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay from 2000–2003. Subsequently he was promoted to Vice President of Marketing for all five BEC parks in Florida, including SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. In 2006, he rose to the top marketing position at BEC as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive VP. In that role Couceiro was responsible for the worldwide marketing and sales for all ten SeaWorld/Busch Gardens attractions.

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Elizabeth Hennig

Senior VP, Chief Financial Officer

Since 2001, Elizabeth Hennig has held positions with steadily increasing levels of responsibility at ZooTampa at Lowry Park in the offices of accounting, finance, development, administration, and human resources. She has expanded her organizational understanding by playing a key role in organizational restructuring and development, strategic planning, compliance, risk management, facility project management, government affairs, Board relations, budget development, and financial management. In 2006, Elizabeth earned certification from the Human Resource Certification Institute as a Professional in Human Resources. After completing an MBA at the University of South Florida in 2008, Elizabeth was promoted to the position of Director of Administration. Elizabeth currently serves as Sr. VP, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Lowry Park Zoological Society and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team responsible for leading business improvement initiatives Elizabeth was named Tampa Bay Business Journal’s CFO of the Year in the nonprofit category in 2012 and is an alumnus of the Leadership Tampa program, Class of 2013.

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Larry Killmar, PhD

Senior VP, Chief Zoological Officer

Dr. Larry Killmar came to ZooTampa at Lowry Park in 2007 with nearly 40 years of zoological experience. He holds a PhD in Business Administration and an MBA from California Coast University. Dr. Killmar is widely published in animal care and management and is a sought-after instructor on Collections Management Techniques and Functions of Animal Care Staff. He is Chairperson, Coordinator, or a member of numerous Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plans (SSP), and chaired a task force on management techniques, treatment, and handling procedures of captive elephants in North America. He was a member of AZA’s Trends Task Force in 2004, is currently a member of the AZA Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee and is President of the Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He began his career at the Zoological Society of San Diego (ZSSD), rising from buildings and grounds attendant to Deputy Director of Collections. Dr. Killmar played a key role in positioning ZSSD as a world conservation leader by expanding its on-site conservation program into the field. In 2003, he managed the importation of 11 African elephants from Swaziland, including 4 males and 7 females, all of whom have now calved with the birth of 2 females at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo in 2012 and 2013. In 2010, he accepted the American Federation of Aviculture “Avy Award” for Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for its first hatching in North America of the African shoebill. Dr. Killmar manages all aspects of the Zoo’s animal science and conservation administration and operations. Additionally he serves as spokesperson and voice of authority on related media issues. In 2015, Dr Killmar was promoted to Sr. VP, Chief Zoological Officer (CZO) and his role ​expanded as a member of the Executive Leadership Team to also oversee the Zoo’s education initiatives and serve as zoo director.

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trisha blake zootampa cmo

Trisha Blake

Senior VP, Chief Marketing Officer

Coming soon.

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Mark Haney

Senior VP, Chief Advancement Officer

In November 2015 Mark Haney was named Sr. VP, Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) for ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Mark previously served as the Vice President of Advancement at The Florida Aquarium for seven years, where he led and successfully concluded the Aquarium’s $15 million capital campaign. Prior to the Florida Aquarium, Mark served as the Director of Individual and Corporate Giving at Miami MetroZoo (now Zoo Miami). He is a long time member of AZA and fully embraces the mission of zoos and aquariums. In his new role as CAO and as a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Mark will oversee all aspects of philanthropic development, grant management, government affairs, business relations and sponsorships.

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dr cnythia stringfield zootampa veterinarian

Dr. Cynthia Stringfield

Senior VP of Animal Health, Conservation & Education

Dr. Stringfield brings more than 35 years of experience as a medical professional and is a passionate advocate for the care and conservation of animals throughout the world.  Most recently, Dr. Stringfield was a member of the animal health team at the Santa Barbara Zoo and a professor and department chair of the Exotic Animal Training and Management program at Moorpark College. Prior to that, she was a clinical and supervising veterinarian at the Los Angeles Zoo. Additionally, through U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Dr. Stringfield was the California Condor Veterinary Coordinator and Advisor for 17 years and a member of the California Condor Recovery Team during the incredible recovery of this endangered species. Dr. Springfield continues to be a member of the California Condor Veterinary Team.

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Dan Simon

Senior VP, Chief Operating Officer

Most recently the Vice President of Operations for the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History for the past 13 years, Dan is responsible for all daily operations including oversight of guest services, maintenance, retail, rides, admissions, finance, IT, special animal experiences, exhibits, and animal care.  Prior to his time with Great Plains, Dan was Park Manager and Project Manager for the South Dakota State Department.

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Michelle Coleman

VP, People & Culture

In June 2018, Michelle Coleman joined ZooTampa at Lowry Park as VP of People and Culture. Michelle previously served as Director of Human Resources at St. Luke’s Cataract and Laser Institute in Tarpon Springs. Prior to that Michelle held various leadership roles in human resources for several large healthcare organizations over the last 20 years. Michelle holds an MBA in Human Resource Management and a Senior Human Resource Professional certification from SHRM.  As a member of the Executive Leadership Team responsible for the health of the people and culture of the organization, Michelle’s primary initiatives are based on establishing and growing ZooTampa as a workplace of choice and excellence. Michelle plays a key role in the organizational development of all employee-related strategies and programs, including benefits, wellness, recognition, recruitment, compensation, guest experience, and cultural health. Currently, Michelle is a member of the Leadership Tampa program, Class of 2020, an Ambassador for the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and a member of HR Tampa and Suncoast HR.

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MANAGEMENT TEAM

Cheryl Larsen, VP of Business Analytics

Chris Massaro, General Curator

Debbie Brown, General Counsel

Jennifer McLachlan, VP of Education

Kim Spencer, Park General Manager

Lee Ann Rottman, VP of Conservation

Rhonda Horn, Executive Assistant to the CEO

 


BOARD OF TRUSTEES

THE LOWRY PARK ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF TAMPA, INC.

Executive Committee

Marylou Bailey, Board Chair

Marty Miller, Vice Chair, Marketing Committee Chair

Heather Jordan-Holmes, Secretary

Dan Honegger, Immediate Past Board Chair & Treasurer

Michael Babb, Fundraising Strategy & Architecture Committee Chair

Sean Butler, Compensation Committee Chair

Casey Cathey

Santiago Corrada

Curt Harbsmeier, Government Affairs Committee Chair

Bob Rasmussen, Past Board Chair, Nominating & Governance Committee Chair

Steve Stagg, Audit Committee Chair

Randy Zavertnik, Finance Committee Chair

BOARD

Leah Bergoffen

Frank Busot

Sandy Callahan

Kerrie Campbell

Nelson Castellano

Joseph V. Chillura

Patrick Dussault

Tony Gaskins, Jr.

Commissioner Ken Hagan

Stacy Hahn

Frank Hancock

Shawn Harrison

Hunt James

Jenny Jones

Melanie Lenz

Carl Lindell, Jr.

Devanand Mangar, MD

Tracy McGrady, Jr.

John Medaska

Dennis Rogero

David Seldin

Stephanie Stanfield

Catherine Lowry Straz (Past Board Chair)

Robert Thomas (Past Board Chair)

Ryan Toth

Councilman Luis Viera

Carlton Ward, Jr.

Lifetime Honorary Members

Sally Lowry Baldwin (dec)

Mrs. Mason Lykes (dec)

FOUNDATION

Lowry Baldwin, Chair

Elizabeth Fowler, Secretary

Dick Stohler, Treasurer

Liz Dimmitt, Director

Bet Snyder, Director

The ZooTampa Endowment Foundation exists to ensure excellence in conservation and education programs, and meaningful recreational experiences with wildlife accessible to everyone. We also have a community of generous donors who support the endowment by:

  • Contributing an outright gift of cash or securities
  • Making a pledge, typically fulfilled over 1 to 3 years
  • Donating stock or other appreciated property
  • Providing a long-range contribution through a wide variety of estate plans to name a fund
  • Naming ZooTampa at Lowry Park in their will, as the beneficiary of life insurance, as part of a trust, or in their Individual Retirement Accounts

For more information, please click here.