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2013 Thank You!

It has been a very successful year for BAAAZK and it would not have been possible without your support. It has always been our mission to:

1. Advance excellence in the animal keeping profession

2. Foster effective communication beneficial to animal care

3. Support deserving conservation projects and

4. Promote the preservation of natural resources and wildlife.

One of the ways this was accomplished was our chapter’s sponsorship of Chopsticks for Salamanders, which advocates reusable chopsticks to protect natural resources and primarily salamanders.  For the first time, promotional videos were created for fundraisers.  These videos reached Bob Cisneros, President of the American Association of Zoo Keepers.  He loved them!  We held two incredible fundraisers: “From the Heart” (FTH) and “Dodging For Rhinos” (DFR).  FTH broke a five-year record, raising nearly $6,000 thanks to all of you and a very generous donation from Oakland Zoo.  All of the proceeds were awarded to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and the California Condor Recovery Program.  DFR was the very first of it’s kind and the concept was a huge hit with zoo keepers from across the country at this past National AAZK Conference.  We held two Mini Conferences this year with a total of 12 wide-ranging presenters at CuriOdyssey and San Francisco Zoo.  In addition, we have increased interest and participation on all of our social media pages.

Moving forward, we will discontinue chapter meetings and instead, increase chapter member benefits by offering workshops throughout the year.  Chapter members will be given priority for workshops that have limited spacing.  Chapter members will also continue to quality for our $500 AAZK Conference scholarship, qualify to run for office, vote for officers, receive extra voting tokens at FTH and have discounted BAAAZK merchandise.  For 2014, we will continue improving our social media efforts and making our fundraisers and mini conference bigger and better.  We can’t wait!

The officers for 2014 are:

Public Relations Officer: Erik Beckman (Oakland Zoo)

Liaison: Shana Jensen (Oakland Zoo)

Secretary: Carrie Henika (Oakland Zoo and Happy Hollow Park and Zoo)

Treasurer: Jason Loy (Oakland Zoo)

Vice President: Jennifer Hopkirk (San Francisco Zoo and CuriOdyssey)

President: Rachael Rufino (CuriOdyssey)

Thank you again for your ongoing support and participation in our chapter.  All of our successes as a chapter are made possible because of you and we look forward to the new year.

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