Palm Beach Zoo is working to become the #1 cultural attraction in Palm Beach County and to accomplish that goal, the Zoo has hired three new managers.
Events Manager Ron Brooks, Volunteer Manager Joseph Landmichl and Media Relations and Development Manager Aileen Van Pelt joined the non-profit organization at the end of October, beginning of November.
Ron Brooks has loved all kinds of animals all his life, so being a part of the team at the Palm Beach Zoo is a perfect fit. With a B.A. in Communications from SUNY Plattsburgh, he pursued a career in broadcasting that led him to many wonderful cities including New Orleans, Columbia, Denver, and Sacramento. One of his stops was West Palm Beach, and he’s excited to be back. Ron worked as a brand manager for major radio stations, developing events to build audiences and revenue for stations and their clients in addition to creating marketing campaigns and directing on-air content. He is planning many new and entertaining events to enhance the visitor experience at the Zoo.
Joseph Landmichl came to south Florida from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, home to 1,000 volunteers. At the Aquarium, Joseph trained their staff and volunteers on how to interact with guests and about the animals in their collection. Joseph has a passion for learning and sharing his knowledge with others. He’s worked in the education departments for Sea World and Busch Gardens. He’s also been a driver’s education teacher and assistant teacher for children with severe autism, helping to create devices that aid with their development. In his short time at the Zoo, Joseph has revamped the volunteer program to include additional departments and is working to create new opportunities and experiences for Zoo volunteers.
Aileen Van Pelt brings 12 years of experience in television news to the Zoo. After graduating with a B.A. in Communication from Trinity University, she started her career as an anchor, reporter and producer in Yuma, Arizona. Since then, she has held similar positions in Omaha, Nebraska, Boise, Idaho and most recently Wichita, Kansas. Aileen’s work has received numerous accolades from broadcasting associations. A passionate storyteller, she’s excited to focus and bring attention to the unique activities happening at the Zoo every day, including the many conservation and education initiatives in which the Zoo takes part. Aileen will also be the driving force behind development, building relationships that will lead to increased corporate and individual sponsorships for the Zoo.
“These three important new hires represent a strategic initiative to build top of mind awareness for one of south Florida’s most important cultural assets. The zoo’s mission involves saving species from extinction, preserving habitat, and sharing what we know with others. By expanding our nature oriented offerings here at the Zoo, and welcoming new volunteers of all ages, we believe we can inspire more and more people to value wildlife and our natural world,” said Andrew Aiken, Zoo president and CEO.
All three managers have a passion for their respective duties and believe by working together with the talented and dedicated staff already in place at the Zoo, they’ll be able to increase awareness of our only Zoo and make it the #1 cultural attraction in Palm Beach County.