Leadership

Executive Leadership Team

Joe Couceiro, President and CEO

Joseph A. Couceiro

President & CEO

Joe Couceiro currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of ZooTampa with oversight of all day-to-day operations and resources in all sectors and fields of the institution. He drives progressive change within the organization; serves as primary spokesperson in front of the public, media and employees on crisis or key policy and strategic issues; is the principal liaison with city and county elected officials and administrators in coordination with the board of trustees.

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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Karen Jubrail Senior VP, Chief Financial Officer

Karen Jubrail

Senior VP, Chief Financial Officer

Karen Jubrail has the primary responsibility for managing the company's financial activities including business planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, monitoring financial risks and working with auditors and legal counsel to ensure compliance. Karen also guides the management of in-park commercial retail revenue partners and IT functions.

Karen has 25 years of combined U.S. and international experience in the areas of finance & accounting, operations, human resources, IT, and development. Prior to joining ZooTampa, Karen was the CFO at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where she oversaw all financial aspects of the operation and led a number of IT, ERP system and expansion planning initiatives. She also served as the CFO/Assistant General Manager of the Zorlu Performing Arts Center in Istanbul, Turkey. Karen held the role of CFO at Ruth Eckerd Hall and was the staff liaison for finance, audit and investment committees, as well as the Assistant Treasurer on the Board of Directors. Karen was an active volunteer as Treasurer of the Glazer Children’s Museum Board of Directors and Chairman of the Finance Committee for many years. She also helped start up a not-for-profit environmental conservation organization and served as its Treasurer. She currently serves on the BB&T Pinellas County Advisory Board. She was a Tampa Bay Business Journal‘s CFO Finalist of the Year (2018) in the not-for-profit category and is a Leadership Pinellas Class of 2012 alumnus.

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Larry Killmar, PhD Senior VP, Chief Zoological Office

Larry Killmar, PhD

Senior VP, Chief Zoological Officer

Dr. Larry Killmar is responsible for elevating ZooTampa's leadership role in the zoological community with oversight of the institution's very diverse wildlife population consisting of more than 1,100 animals. Dr. Killmar also provides strategic guidance on all animal programs, including: animal care, conservation, education and animal health/veterinary functions.

Dr. 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.

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Mark Haney, Senior VP, Chief Advancement Officer

Mark Haney

Senior VP, Chief Advancement Officer

Mark Haney oversees all aspects of fundraising and philanthropic development, grant management, and government affairs. Haney also works cooperatively with corporate partners and sponsors.

In November 2015, Mark 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.

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Dr. Cynthia Stringfield, Senior VP of Animal Health, Conservation & Education

Dr. Cynthia Stringfield

Senior VP of Animal Health, Conservation & Education

Dr. Cynthia Stringfield serves as senior veterinarian leading all animal health, science, education and veterinary services. Additionally, she guides the ZT Saves initiative which provides a unifying identity and strategic direction for ZooTampa's comprehensive conservation and education programming, research and fieldwork.

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. Stringfield also brings extensive big cat experience to ZooTampa, and is very excited to again work with USFWS and be part of the Florida Panther Recovery Program.

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Scott Rose, Senior VP, Chief Operating Officer

Scott Rose

Senior VP, Chief Operating Officer

Scott Rose is responsible for guiding the institution's overall brand deliverables and brand positioning, including the oversight of park operations, retail operations, guest engagement, guest services, and construction & facilities management. Scott is also responsible for leading ZooTampa's marketing functions including communications, brand management, sales and partnerships.

Scott brings more than 40 years of experience in theme park and attraction marketing, business development and strategic planning. Prior to joining ZooTampa, Scott served as the Chief Operating Officer at The Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa. As COO, Scott was responsible for leading the overall business operations and strategic planning for the aquarium. During his tenure at the aquarium, he spearheaded the development of new, immersive product offerings aimed at enhancing the guest experience and knowledge of the marine world. Previously, Scott spent 30 years working for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEA), including management positions in six of SEA’s ten parks.

Scott currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Visit Florida and The Florida Attractions Scholarship Foundation, and he is a two-time past Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Florida Attractions Association. He also serves on the Advisory Board for Visit Tampa Bay.

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Michelle Coleman, Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer

Michelle Coleman

Senior VP, Chief People Officer

Michelle Coleman directs all Human Resources functions for ZooTampa including strategic HR planning, recruitment, talent management, staff training compensation, benefits, employee relations, policy development and interpretation, HR legal compliance, organizational development and culture management.

In June 2018, Michelle 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, she 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. 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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Sandra Torres, Senior Director of Communications & External Affairs

Sandra Torres

Senior Director of Communications & External Affairs

Sandra Torres is responsible for leading the institution's communications strategy, crisis management, and external affairs functions, including the reinforcement of ZooTampa's leadership status within the zoological community; enhancing the Zoo's goodwill involvement within local, contiguous, and underserved communities; and initiating social engagement to generate aspirational demand from residents and visitors to Tampa Bay.

Sandra has more than 20 years of national and international experience in the areas of integrated marketing, media relations, promotions, brand development, strategic planning, and crisis management. Prior to joining the ZooTampa team, Sandra worked in various leadership roles for the Florida collection of Busch Gardens & SeaWorld parks in addition to project management of some of the company's activities in Brazil, Latin America and Puerto Rico. As a consultant, Sandra's client list included many organizations within the travel & tourism and non-profit industries including ZooTampa for whom she managed the field production of Nat Geo Wild’s Secrets of the Zoo Tampa prior to officially joining the team in August of 2019.

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Rhonda Horn, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer

Rhonda Horn

Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer

Rhonda Horn is responsible for a wide range of key functions critical to the success of the institution including serving as a trusted confidant to and making informed decisions on behalf of CEO, providing support to the CEO and Executive Leadership Team, representing the Zoo at select meetings and events; serving as an ambassador with front line staff; functioning as primary liaison with the board of trustees and endowment foundation; coordinating the business planning process.

Since February 2015, Rhonda has served as the executive assistant to the Chief Executive Officer at ZooTampa. Prior to joining the Zoo team, she spent 10+ years as EA to the CEOs of PODS Enterprises, Tampa Bay & Company (currently Visit Tampa Bay) and the Tampa Bay Partnership. In 2014, Rhonda founded the EAs of Tampa Bay, a group of executive assistants who support C-level executives at major corporations, universities, and businesses throughout the Tampa Bay area. Prior to becoming an executive assistant, Rhonda began her career as a promotions assistant, working her way up to management level and holding positions in marketing, advertising, and communications.

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BOARD OF TRUSTEES

THE LOWRY PARK ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF TAMPA, INC.

Executive Committee

Marty Miller, Board Chair

Robert Thomas, Board Vice Chair

Dan Honegger, Treasurer

Stephanie Stanfield, Secretary

Marylou Bailey, Immediate Past Board Chair

Kerrie Campbell, Compensation Committee Chair

Nelson Castellano, Nominating & Governance Committee Chair

Frank Hancock, Audit Committee Chair

Curt Harbsmeier, Government Affairs Committee Chair

Steve Stagg, Finance Committee Chair

Sean Butler

Santiago Corrada

Heather Jordan-Holmes

John Medaska

Bob Rasmussen

BOARD

Michael Babb

Keenan Baldwin

Leah Bergoffen

Frank Busot

Sandy Callahan

Casey Cathey

Joseph V. Chillura

Patrick Dussault

Tony Gaskins, Jr.

Commissioner Ken Hagan

Stacy Hahn

Melanie Lenz

Carl Lindell, Jr.

Devanand Mangar, MD

Tracy McGrady, Jr.

Councilman Charlie Miranda

Dennis Rogero

Senator Darryl Rouson

David Seldin

Catherine Lowry Straz

Kim Stohler

Ryan Toth

Carlton Ward, Jr.

Randy Zavertnik

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

Learn more about donating to ZooTampa »