Leadership

Executive Leadership Team

Joe Couceiro, President and CEO

Joseph A. Couceiro

President and CEO

Couceiro is responsible for the overall vision and leadership of ZooTampa, strategically guiding its core zoological, operational, and mission-oriented activities, in collaboration with the Zoo’s Board of Trustees. He is also responsible for the Zoo’s communications, driving progressive organizational change and future transformational innovation. Before joining ZooTampa (ZT) in 2015, Couceiro was a member of the Executive Management Team for the Chicago Zoological Society serving as Vice President of Marketing & Communications. Couceiro also worked for SeaWorld and Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC), a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, successively taking on progressively more challenging senior leadership roles during a notable 30-year career, including serving as Vice President of Marketing for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay from 2000–2003 and subsequently, as 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 responsible for the worldwide marketing and sales for all ten SeaWorld/Busch Gardens attractions.

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Scott Rose, Senior VP, Chief Operating Officer

Scott Rose

Senior VP, Chief Operating Officer

Rose is responsible for the overall day-to-day management of ZT’s guest experience, ensuring the brand positioning is consistent with the brand deliverable. The following functions report to Rose: park operations, admissions, merchandise, guest engagement, facilities management, and marketing. Rose brings more than 40 years of experience in theme park and attraction marketing, business development and strategic planning. Prior to joining ZT, Rose served as the Chief Operating Officer at The Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa. Previously, Rose spent 30 years working for SeaWorld and Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC), including management positions in six of BEC's ten parks.

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Karen Jubrail Senior VP, Chief Financial Officer

Karen Jubrail

Senior VP, Chief Financial Officer

Jubrail is responsible for day-to-day management of the finance division and coordination of ZooTampa’s business planning process. The following functions report to Jubrail: accounting, procurement, budgeting, forecasting, and business operations. She is also responsible for monitoring financial risks and working with auditors and legal counsel to ensure compliance. Additionally, she works closely with the governance of ZooTampa, including the Endowment Foundation, Audit and Finance committees. Jubrail 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. Jubrail was also an active volunteer as Treasurer of the Glazer Children’s Museum Board of Directors and Chairman of the Finance Committee for many years.

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Mark Haney, Senior VP. Chief External Relations Officer

Mark Haney

Senior VP. Chief External Relations Officer

Haney leads ZooTampa’s expanding government relations strategies, proactively advocating support of innovative conservation policies and programming. Concurrently, Haney pursues government funding opportunities for the developing transformation of ZooTampa by building meaningful relationships with local, state, and federal government leaders. Haney also seamlessly cultivates his close associations with select major donors in collaboration with the ZooTampa Development Team. Haney previously served as the Vice President of Advancement at The Florida Aquarium for seven years and as the Director of Individual and Corporate Giving at Zoo Miami.

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Michelle Coleman, Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer

Michelle Coleman

Senior VP, Chief People Officer

Coleman is responsible for implementing human resource strategies to drive ZooTampa’s organizational performance in core areas such as employee recruitment, retention, recognition, and engagement. Coleman is also responsible for advancing the Zoo’s objectives on culture development, diversity & inclusion, as well as ensuring compliance with all legal personnel requirements. In collaboration with CFO, CEO and the Board of Trustees Human Capital Committee, Coleman strategically manages the Zoo’s policies on total compensation and establishes a suitable workforce foundation to meet the Zoo’s future staffing needs. Coleman 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.

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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. Stringfield is responsible for all animal health, science, education, and veterinary services. Stringfield also strategically guides all aspects of Zootampa’s conservation programming, research, and fieldwork through the ZTSaves initiative. Stringfield brings more than 35 years of experience as a medical professional. Most recently, 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, 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. 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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Chris Masarro, Senior Vice President of Zoological Operations

Chris Massaro

Senior VP, Zoological Operations

Massaro is responsible for providing strategic leadership to all zoological daily operations aligned with ZooTampa’s brand, mission and core values, including animal acquisition, disposition, exhibit management, animal husbandry and guest engagement. He oversees the overall day-to-day management of ZT’s Animal Care Team, including providing exemplary care and enrichment activities for the Zoo’s animal population. Massaro ensures animal care staff is progressively trained to exceed any applicable protocols. Also responsible for ensuring compliance with all federal and state regulations as well as AZA policies. He has more than 20 years of experience in the care, welfare and management of animals right here in Tampa. Massaro has been responsible for advancing a number of our animal care programs including developing a model elephant program, that produced the first naturally conceived elephant calves ever born at ZT. Massaro is also a member of the AZA rhinoceros' taxon advisory group, contributing his expertise, focus and commitment to the long-term survival of rhinos both in human care and beyond.

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Jennifer McLachlan - VP of Conservation & Learning

Jennifer McLachlan

VP, Conservation & Learning

McLachlan’s responsibilities include developing, implementing, and evaluating empathy practices at the Zoo through natural connections and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) programming. She is also responsible for broadening local and national program involvement through collaboration and partnerships, some of which include Tampa Bay STEM Network, Champions for Children, Early Learning. Coalition, The Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library, Positive Wide Behavior Program through the University of South Florida, MacDonald Training Center, Center for Autism and Related Disabilities through the University of South Florida, and Beacon College Anthrozoology class. She develops innovative funding opportunities that empower lifelong learners to appreciate, protect and understand the world around them. She fosters related opportunities for all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, abilities, and education levels in the community. McLachlan also establishes strategic partnerships with compatible conservation organizations and oversees ZooTampa’s Early Childhood Education program (“Zoo School”) bringing over 20 years of experience in the environmental education field, inclusive of work within a nonprofit zoological setting.

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Cheryl Larsen - VP of Revenue Programs and Partnerships

Cheryl Larsen

VP, Revenue Programs and Partnerships

Larsen's responsibilities include oversight of outsourced in-park revenue operations as well as strategically guiding corporate sales and partnerships. Additionally, Larsen manages information technologies along with business analysis and has developed complex intelligence tools to enhance the decision-making capabilities of our organization, allowing fast access to actionable data. Larsen has over 25 years of experience in the zoological community constantly taking on new and more challenging functional priorities and previously served as ZooTampa's VP of Operations, Larsen now brings that extensive experience and perspective to her current role.

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JL Bielon, VP of Development

JL Bielon

VP, Development

Bielon directs the Development Team and is responsible for growing the financial base for the Zoo by developing strategic fundraising and capital campaign plans to support Zoo priorities. She has more than 20 years of strategic fundraising experience and prior to joining ZooTampa, served as Executive Director of The Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research Foundation. Previously, Bielon worked as Director of Development for the Tampa Theater.

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Sandra Torres, VP, Marketing & Communications

Sandra Torres

VP, Marketing & Communications

Torres directs the Zoo's Marketing and Communications Team, developing strategic initiatives that enhance the Zoo's brand, image and profile with consumers and within the zoological community; consequently, generating aspirational demand to visit ZooTampa and inspire others to preserve wildlife. Torres has more than 20 years of national and international experience in integrated marketing, media relations, promotions, brand development, strategic planning, and crisis management. Prior to joining ZooTampa, Torres 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, Torres' clients 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 2019.

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Rhonda Horn, Executive Assistant to the CEO and Director of Administration

Rhonda Horn

Executive Assistant to the CEO and Director of Administration

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 the CEO. Horn also works independently on assigned projects directly impacting Zoo priorities. She is also responsible for guiding all Zoo operational support teams and managing ZT University employee training programs. Prior to joining ZooTampa, Horn spent 10+ years as Executive Assistant to the CEOs of PODS Enterprises, Visit Tampa Bay and the Tampa Bay Partnership. In 2014, Horn 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, Horn 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

Robert Thomas, Board Chair

Steve Stagg, Board Vice Chair

Dan Honegger, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair

Stephanie Stanfield, Secretary

Marty Miller, Immediate Past Board Chair

Marylou Bailey

Keenan Baldwin, Government Affairs Committee Chair

Sean Butler

Kerrie Campbell, Human Capital Committee Chair

Nelson Castellano, Nominating & Governance Committee Chair

Santiago Corrada

Frank Hancock, Audit Committee Chair

Curt Harbsmeier

John Medaska

BOARD

Dr. Ken Atwater

Ashley Barnett

Leah Bergoffen

Sandy Callahan

Casey Cathey

Patrick Dussault

Tony Gaskins, Jr.

Commissioner Ken Hagan

Stacy Hahn

Heather Jordan-Holmes

Melanie Lenz

Carl Lindell, Jr.

Devanand Mangar, MD

Governor Bob Martinez

Lawrence McClure

Tracy McGrady, Jr.

Councilman Charlie Miranda

Tom Piccolo

Bob Rasmussen

Dennis Rogero

Senator Darryl Rouson

David Seldin

Catherine Lowry Straz

Keebler Straz

Kim Stohler

Ryan Toth

Carlton Ward, Jr.

Randy Zavertnik

Lifetime Honorary Members

Sally Lowry Baldwin (dec)

Mrs. Mason Lykes (dec)

FOUNDATION

Dick Stohler, Chair

Elizabeth Fowler, Secretary

Liz Dimmitt, Treasurer

Stacy Miller, 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 »