With a name like Amy Parrott, it’s only fitting that this animal-loving fund-raiser has worked for San Diego Zoo Global for more than 30 years. As the director of individual and planned gifts, Amy and her team have raised funds to build an incredible array of exhibits and facilities at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park including the Conrad Prebys Australian Outback, Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey, Monkey Trails, the Sylvia Straton Lion Camp, the Paul Harter Veterinary Medical Center, and the Giant Panda Research Station.
Amy has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for 30 years, and has served on the board in several capacities including President and VP for Education. Currently, Amy serves on the AFPI Member/Chapter Services Committee and recently Chaired the Host Committee for the AFP International Conference that was in San Diego in April 2013.
Amy is passionate about wildlife and conservation, and has also generated support for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research for endangered animals such as the giant panda, California condor, white and greater one-horned rhinoceros, and cheetah.
Amy loves to travel, and oversees the Zoo’s WorldWild Tours program. Her adventures have taken her to Japan, Australia, the Caribbean, China, India, Turkey, and Greece as well as Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar in Africa.
Joanne Leidenberger really knows how to entertain and engage volunteers with projects and programs they are passionate about, helping others discover fulfilling volunteer roles with San Diego Zoo Global. As director of events and programs for the Zoo's development department for 20 years, Joanne is directly responsible for guiding the Zoo’s annual black-tie gala committees for Rendezvous In the Zoo (R•I•T•Z), and she oversees her team’s efforts on a multitude of donor recognition events, fund-raisers, exhibit openings, Cans for Critters youth program, Adopt an Animal, and Wish List, just to name a few. Joanne was instrumental years ago in bringing the very popular San Diego Zoo Food & Wine Celebration (formerly known as Celebration for the Critters) to the Zoo grounds.
Prior to being a staff member, Joanne was initially an active volunteer with the Zoo and helped establish its first volunteer program. An avid animal lover—including giant pandas, big cats, and elephants!—Joanne previously volunteered with the San Diego Humane Society when she first arrived in San Diego from Pennsylvania in 1980.
Joanne loves to travel and enjoys cuisines from all parts of the globe. She recently returned from a Zoo trip to Kenya, and made it her goal for all members of the group to have an enjoyable and rewarding journey: she has a special touch in bringing people together. With her varied background, Joanne understands how to make people comfortable and promises to make your trip to China one you will remember for a lifetime!
Maggie Reinbold has been dedicated to saving biodiversity through science education and outreach for nearly 20 years. She is the founding member of the Conservation Education Division at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, where she serves as a liaison between Zoo researchers and the community. Her efforts are largely focused on designing relevant, hands-on activities in conservation science for use with students and teachers.
Maggie completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology at San Diego State University, with her graduate research focused on the population genetics of desert aquatic insects across the Baja California Peninsula. Maggie has taught science in a number of formal and informal settings and as an National Science Foundation science fellow, she spent several seasons in Arctic Alaska, bringing hands-on science education to unique and underserved communities on the North Slope. Her professional travels with the Zoo have taken her all over the world, including trips to Hawaii, the Caribbean, Madagascar, and Cameroon. Her personal travels have also taken her to many far off places including the Middle East, Europe, and Central America.
One of her most memorable and life-changing trips was to the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica in 2010. She and her husband, Brad (a fellow biologist), were absolutely astounded at the diversity of species roaming freely through the forests around them! They had personal encounters with tamanduas, sloths, iguanas, macaws, howler monkeys, tayras, coatimundis, poison dart frogs, spider monkeys, toucans, and leafcutter ants! Maggie is looking forward to sharing her experiences in Central America and her knowledge about the natural world with the families who travel with her to Costa Rica in 2014.
Kea Spurrier, associate director of individual giving for the Development Department, is an avid world traveler who has lived in Greece and traveled extensively through Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, China, and Australia. She is passionate about animals and conservation, and has helped generate support for the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the conservation efforts of the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. A favorite campaign Kea worked on generated support to build a new home for the Zoo’s Galápagos tortoises. Kea’s travel interests include exploring rain forests and other ecosystems to see animals in the wild, visiting archeological or historically significant sites, and browsing through museums that house amazing art.