About

Our Mission & Leadership

The Greenville Zoo Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves as an independent community outreach group, whose purpose is to provide financial, resource and advocacy support for the needs of the Greenville Zoo.

As a 501(c)3 organization, the Greenville Zoo Foundation’s efforts assist the Zoo in completing its mission to service the Upstate of South Carolina by promoting an appreciation of nature and wildlife while providing innovative programs for education and conservation.

Meet Amanda, Our Executive Director

As Executive Director of The Greenville Zoo Foundation/Friends of the Greenville Zoo, Amanda leads the fundraising and advocacy programs that support the Greenville Zoo, including the funding for an extensive Master Plan. Amanda began her leadership of the Foundation in 2013.

Before joining the Foundation, Amanda served as Area Director of MDA, serving 17 counties in the NC Piedmont Triad and managing special events and directing new sponsor development opportunities. Before her tenure at MDA, she was Vice President for Hartsook Companies, serving nonprofit clients nationwide with capital campaign organization and execution; major gift identification; and planned gift acquisition. Amanda’s career also includes leadership roles at NCCJ (Greensboro, NC), Victory Junction (Randleman, NC), Girl Scouts (Colfax, NC), Family Service of the Piedmont (Greensboro, NC) and Big Brothers Big Sisters (Kansas City, MO).

She has been very active with Association for Fundraising Professionals, serving as the Board Chair in 2008-2009. Additional roles have included Treasurer, Chair of Diversity, and NC Statewide Conference committee member. Additionally, Amanda served on the AFP International committees for Youth in Philanthropy and the Next Generation. In 2005, Amanda was named AFP NC Triad’s Professional Fundraiser of the Year. She served on the AFP International Committee on Directorship in 2010. She holds an MPA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Carolina University. Amanda earned the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential in 2006.

Amanda’s favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo is seeing the reaction of children when they visit.

Our Board of Directors

Bill West

Bill West

Chairman

Managing Partner
The Atlantic Partners

Volunteerism: Board, Bike and Build; President, Upstate Film Society; Mentor, Clemson MBA Program

Hobbies or interests: Cycling

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: It is the perfect small town zoo for a family day.

Chris Lewis

Chris Lewis

Vice Chair, Special Projects

President & General Manager
Greenville Swamp Rabbits

Volunteerism: VisitGreenvilleSC Board member, Ambassador – Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Covenant United Methodist Church Volunteer

Hobbies or interests: Playing sports with the kids, watching my daughter’s soccer games, golf, fantasy football

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: It is a great place to unwind and spend some good, low key family time.

Phillip Cox

Phillip Cox

Co-Treasurer

Senior VP
Grandbridge Real Estate Capital

Volunteerism: Pendelton Place Children’s Home, Prior Chairman of the Mortgage Banking Association of the Carolinas Commercial Income Property, Urban Land Institute, Westminster Presbyterian Church

Hobbies or interests: Fishing, Camping, Guitar, Golf

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: The Look on my kids’ faces while we walk through and the STAFF!

Matt Madden

Matt Madden

Co-Treasurer

Shareholder
Elliott Davis Decosimo

Volunteerism: Board Member, United Way Campaign Cabinet; Board Member, Future Construction Leaders of the Upstate; Leadership Greenville, Class 40

Hobbies and interests:  golf, reading, hanging out with wife, Kate and two dogs, Daisy and Winnie.

Favorite things about the zoo: The impact that education and outreach has on our community and the economic impact it has for the upstate.

Cynthia Davis

Cynthia Davis

Director of Consumer and Brand Insights
Denny’s Corporation

Volunteerism: Greenville Humane Society; United Way; Leadership Greenville; Riley Institute

Hobbies or interests: Travel, Gardening, Cooking, spending time with family & friends

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: I love that the Greenville Zoo brings the world to our backyard; a very simple and pure experience.

Will Gibbs

Will Gibbs

Associate
Nelson Mullins

Volunteerism:

Hobbies or interests:

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo:

Jon Hammond

Jon Hammond

Corporate Counsel
Michelin

Volunteerism:

Hobbies or interests:

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo:

Mat Hulquist

Mat Hulquist

President
The Hulquist Firm, CPA, PC

Volunteerism: Board Treasurer of NEXT High School; Board Treasurer of Augustine Literacy Project of the Upstate; Advisory Board Member of the Small Business Development Center

Hobbies or interests: Running and spending time with family

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: To see the look of wonderment on my kid’s faces every time they see the animals up close!

Eric Jarinko

Eric Jarinko

General Manager
Greenville Drive

Volunteerism:

Hobbies or interests:

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo:

Chris Manley

Chris Manley

Managing Partner
Engenius

Volunteerism: Chairman of ReFrame Association; Chairman of the Greenville Nonprofit Alliance; board of Rebuild Upstate; volunteer with Junior Achievement; and active leader at Bethesda United Methodist Church

Hobbies or interests: Spending lots of time with his kids and family, Reading, Hiking, and Traveling

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: Hearing the monkeys scream…and seeing kids yell back at them with huge smiles on their faces.

Beth Paul

Beth Paul

General Manager
Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Volunteerism:

Hobbies or interests:

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo:

Thomas Parry

Thomas Parry

VP Business Development
NorthPage, LLC

Volunteerism:

Hobbies or interests: Cycling, Farming, Youth Baseball

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: The reptiles.

Matthew Praytor

Matthew Praytor

Project Manager
Triangle Construction Company

Volunteerism: Deacon at Fourth Presbyterian Church

Hobbies or interests: Traveling and Saltwater Fly Fishing

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: Bringing his daughter to the zoo and watching her reaction of joy and amazement, and of course the incredible new tradition of ZooTunes!

Casey Reid

Casey Reid

Owner
Eleven Events

Volunteerism: 

Hobbies or interests: 

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: 

Steve Trakas

Steve Trakas

Senior Operating Director
Gibbs International

Volunteerism: Board of American Red Cross; Board of Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta Strategic Project

Hobbies or interests: Travel, Golf, Cooking, Spending time with friends & family

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: Special learning moments that parents share with children…priceless.

Ben Urueta

Ben Urueta

Architect, Principal
DP3 Architects

Volunteerism: Treasurer CESA Boys Premier U16; Social Chair Leadership Greenville LG40; Guest Reviewer, Mentor at Clemson University Undergraduate/Graduate Studios

Hobbies or interests: Photography, Field Sketching, Wood Working, Reading, Music, Exercise, and following his kids around the state, the country and the world with their team sports

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: The animals of course! It is amazing the excitement that the animals can infuse in people of all ages, kids and grownups alike!

Laura K. Whitney, MD

Laura K. Whitney, MD

Physician
The Children’s Medical Center, PA

Volunteerism: Junior League of Greenville

Hobbies or interests: Cooking & Golf

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: 

Brett A. Wright, PhD

Brett A. Wright, PhD

Dean, College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
Clemson University

Volunteerism: Parks; Zoos; Youth Organizations

Hobbies or interests: Hiking, Visiting National Parks, Golf

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: I enjoy the park-like, intimate setting.

Amanda Osborne

Amanda Osborne

Executive Director
Friends of the Greenville Zoo

Volunteerism:

Hobbies or interests:

Favorite thing about the Greenville Zoo: