Margo McKnight brings more than 37 years of experience leading for-profit and not-for-profit conservation and Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) organizations.
She has proven expertise in building and leading teams, developing impactful conservation programs, forging strategic partnerships. In addition, she has worked closely with government, tourism, fundraising and public affairs agencies and individuals. This accumulated experience has enabled her to build teams that create unique, meaningful and measurable programs that link ‘doing well in order to do good.’
At The Florida Aquarium, McKnight created the ground-breaking coral conservation collaboration with the National Aquarium of Cuba as well as designed the organization’s Center for Conservation at Apollo Beach which focuses on shark, sea turtle and coral conservation. Prior to that, she served as the Executive Director of the tri-nationally-focused Wildlands Network conservation organization.
Describing McKnight as a visionary with a great passion for wildlife, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Jack Hanna explains, “Margo brings a wealth of design knowledge that enriches the lives of animals in zoological care and elevates the guest experience.”
As Executive Director of the Brevard Zoo from 1998 -2004, she created an internationally-recognized conservation program, enabled her zoo to be the first in the U.S. to create a “kayak through animal habitats” experience and designed themed classrooms for Title I schools. McKnight also has held numerous positions at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
A Miami native, she has chosen to live, attend school and work in Florida. McKnight graduated from the University of South Florida, and also pursued field work in ornithology. She is a seasoned spokesperson, artist and outdoor enthusiast. She lives in the Palm Beach area with her horses and dog.
Kathleen D. Breland was named Chief Financial Officer for the Palm Beach Zoo in July 2009. Ms. Breland is an active member of the Executive, Finance, Construction Oversight, Human Resources and Events committees and is heading the Information Systems committee at the Zoo. Breland was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of the Zoo in January 2015.
Breland was with national homebuilder/developer Centex Homes for over 20 years holding positions as Controller, VP of Finance, Division President and VP of Operations prior to coming to the zoo. Breland has prior not-for-profit experience as the Controller for The Housing Corporation, a non-profit housing organization in Houston, Texas, catering to low-income and elderly housing. She is a registered licensed CPA in the state of Illinois and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Houston.
Bridget Baratta recently joined The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society as its Chief Development Officer. For the past two years Bridget was busy launching the Office of Philanthropy & Strategic Partnerships at Oxbridge Academy. Bridget’s first decade in philanthropy was spent as the Executive Director of the Martin County Community Foundation where she grew the foundation’s asset base from $100,000 to over $17mm.
Bridget serves on the advisory board of Palm Beach-based Merton Venture Philanthropy which applies a private equity approach to charitable giving. She is also an advisory board member at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy (Mass.) and The Lyric Theater (Stuart, FL). She is a past board member of The Pine School (Hobe Sound, FL), past president of the Junior League of Martin County, and has won numerous awards including the Martin County Soroptimist Women of Distinction Award, The National Philanthropy Day Volunteer Fundraiser of The Year Award, and the Knight Kiplinger Literacy Volunteer Award.
Bridget holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from George Washington University and a Master’s of Education with a major in Policy and Administration from the University of Pennsylvania through a collaboration with the Wharton School.
In addition to her professional and volunteer activities, she is a mother of three (Patrick, 12th grade at Oxbridge; Elizabeth, 10th grade at The Taft School; and William, 8th grade at The Pine School). Bridget is originally from South Dartmouth, MA and is the Co-Founder of Impact The Palm Beaches, an all-female grantmaking group that will give away its first $100,000 grant this Fall.
She has worked at zoos in Nevada, Texas, Oregon and most recently, the Melbourne Zoo in Australia. During her 27-year career, she has held positions of keeper, senior keeper, supervisor, curator and senior curator. Steele has worked with a variety of species including, carnivores, primates, hoofstock, birds and program animals.
During her eight years in Australia, Steele greatly enhanced the guest experience for the Melbourne Zoo by increasing the number of keeper talks, introducing behind-the-scenes experiences and fostering interest in conservation among keepers and guests alike. Steele brings a comprehensive approach to conservation by inspiring staff and guests to adopt small changes in lifestyle that benefit the species and the natural world, while also supporting on-site conservation projects and legislation that can have a direct impact on animals in the wild.
Steele graduated from the University of Nevada with a B.S. in Animal Biology. She has also received management certification from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Management School.
Mrs. Cytacki joined the Palm Beach Zoo in 1997 after spending three years coordinating environmental education programs at Brookgreen Gardens Wildlife Park in South Carolina. Mrs. Cytacki was promoted to the Palm Beach Zoo’s Director of Education in 1999 and in 2010 to Director of Education and Sustainability. As the Director of Education, she is responsible for all aspects of educational programming; including, curriculum development, program evaluation, program implementation, and managing the education staff. Mrs. Cytacki is the Editor of the Palm Beach Zoo Magazine (a quarterly publication distributed to more than 7,000 households in and around Palm Beach County) and she is responsible for design and content for the Zoo’s educational brochures, signs, and displays. She also coordinates the zoo’s Green Team.
Mrs. Cytacki serves on the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach County Environmental Network, the Board of Advisors at the Santa Fe Community College/Teaching Zoo in Gainesville, Florida and she is a member of the Palm Beach County School Board Science Strategic Plan Committee and serves on the Palm Beach County Cultural Council’s Cultural Leadership Education Committee. She is also the training facilitator for teacher in-service/continuing education programs Project WET, WILD, Aquatic Wild, Everglades, Learning Tree, and Florida Black Bear.
Mrs. Cytacki graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1993 with a B.S. in Biology and Marine Science. She has served as a research scientist with the I-Center for Marine and Wetland Studies and the NOAA Ship named Ferrel. She is the Palm Beach Zoo’s institutional representative for the Chiropteran Taxon Advisory Group. In her capacity as Director of Education, she has presented talks and papers at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Regional and Annual Conference.
Professional memberships held by Mrs. Cytacki include the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the National Association of Interpretation, North American Association of Environmental Educators, Museum Educators of South East Florida, League of Environmental Educators of Florida, and the Florida Association of Zoological Educators.
Dr. Genevieve Dumonceaux (affectionately known as Dr. G) grew up in rural Illinois on a small family farm. She graduated from the University of Illinois veterinary school in 1988. She spent two years with the Illinois Animal Poison Control Center before entering a small animal and exotic pet practice for the next three years.
In 1993 she began a residency training program in zoological medicine at the University of California Davis. After a brief time at the El Paso Zoo in Texas as a contract veterinarian she was hired as an associate veterinarian for Busch Gardens and Sea World entertainment parks. She was later promoted to senior veterinarian.
After 13 years at the corporation Dr. G left to pursue interests in aquatic medicine and became the veterinarian at the Florida Aquarium. Her desire for more clinical work and her love of zoos lead her to her current role as veterinarian for the Palm Beach Zoo.
Dr. G has many publications and professional presentations to her name. She has also traveled all around the world for research and conservation opportunities and for pleasure. Dr. G has provided consultation services for several zoos around the world and most recently consults with the Central Zoo in Kathmandu, Nepal.