lion laying down with head up

East Coast Zoological Society Legacy of Protecting Wildlife

The East Coast Zoological Society (ECZS) formed in 1986, began its mission to protect wildlife and their habitats, first spearheading the effort with community leaders and thousands of volunteers to build Brevard Zoo which opened in 1994. More than 16,000 people from business owners and engineers to tradespeople and retirees contributed their time and talents to build what is now one of the country’s largest privately funded Zoos.

Experience That Makes an Impact

With three decades of experience working passionately for animals, our commitment to nature never wavers, remaining focused on defining the role of a community zoo and responding to nature’s challenges. From ensuring Zoo animals have the very best nutrition and veterinary care to removing threats of habitat loss and extinction in the environment around us, Brevard Zoo consistently takes the lead on making sure nature, animals and humans successfully thrive together.

Recognized across the nation as a leader in best practices in animal wellness, education, conservation and sustainability, this flagship location of the East Coast Zoological Society is living proof that bold ideas, shared among a community and paired with action, can create extraordinary results.

That’s why ECZS is embarking on a historic campaign to create a second campus to do even more. Addressing the vulnerability of our ecosystem is crucial to not only this region’s future but to the future of the world.

This is our legacy.

Our Mission

Is Sharing Our Joy of Nature to Help

Wildlife and People Thrive

Board of

Executive Committee
Michael Cerow
Partner, Carr, Riggs & Ingram

Jessica Cartagena Assam
Owner/Consultant, It’s No Surprises by JCA, LLC

Jacqueline Barker
President/CEO, SKY Advertising
Immediate Past President

Darlene Evans-Borinski
Sr. Director of Finance, DNC Parks & Resorts at KSC, Inc.

Milo Zonka
Vice President Aviation Real Estate
Sheltair Aviation Secretary

Lew Schwartz
Vice President, Development

Heather McDonough
McDonough CPA Solutions, PA
Vice President, Governance

William Glenn Young
Vice President, Planning

Board Members
Clayton Archey, A. Duda & Sons, Inc.
Bruce Assam, Holiday Builders
Jim Barfield, Luke & Associates, Inc.
Hope Fisher
Elaina Garvin, Stifel
Julie Harrison Joseph Klein, DKN Legal, PLLC
Jennifer Lacey
Vince Lamb
Ann Luke, Truist Bank
Alan Marumoto, University Center Imaging
Linda May, LMAYCO, Inc.
Dawn Mays, Call One, Inc. & Hello Direct
Scott Miller, The Viera Co.
William Moore, Zoo Miami Foundation
Natasha Cartagena Spencer, Shelter Mortgage Company
Mary Ann Sperando, Sperando Family Foundation
Dolores Waldron, IBM (retired)
William Walders, Health First
Barbara Wall-Scanlon, Berkshire Hathaway-Florida Realty
Patty Ziegler, CCCS

Directors Emeritus
Toni George, L3Harris Corp. Beth Gitlin, BJG Global Consulting
Leasha Flammio-Watson, Flammio Financial Group, LLC

Capital Campaign

Linda May
Campaign Co-Chair

  • President, LMAYCO, Inc
  • Partner, Brand & May LLC.
  • Board of Directors for Brevard Zoo
  • Board of Directors for AMIkids Space Coast
  • Director Emeritus Community Foundation for Brevard

Jack Mollen
Campaign Co-Chair

  • Former Chairman, Board of Trustees, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Former Chairman, Leadership and Compensation Committee, Alexion Pharmaceuticals
  • Former Executive Vice President, EMC Corporation
  • Former Vice President of Administration, Harris Corporation
  • Passionate conservationist, who along with his wife Bonnie, are committed to the protection of endangered species around the world.
  • Through their Charitable Foundation, they actively contribute to Rhino Conservation in Botswana, White Oak Conservation in North Florida, and the Brevard Zoo.

Rick Walsh
Honorary Chair Emeritus

  • Owner, Knob Hill Group
  • Former Sr. Vice President of Darden Restaurants (25 years)
  • Founding member of the leadership team that took Darden public (1995)
  • Board of Directors, Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation
  • Board of Directors, UCF Foundation
  • Board of Directors, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

Lauren Brand
Cabinent Member

  • President, National Association of Waterfront Employers
  • Executive Director, National Maritime Safety Association
    Partner, Brand & May, LLC
  • Former Member, Senior Executive Service, US Department of Transportation Marine Administration
  • Former Senior Director for Business Development, Port Canaveral

Michael Cerow
Cabinent Member

  • Partner, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC
  • Board President, Brevard Zoo (2022)
  • Director Emeritus, Community Foundation for Brevard
  • Former Director, LEAD Brevard
  • Former Director, American Cancer Society, Florida Division
  • Former Director, Eau Gallie Yacht Club

Duane De Freese, PH.D.
Cabinent Member

  • Executive Director, Indian River Lagoon Council
  • Executive Director, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program
  • Board Member, CareerSource Florida, Inc.
  • Vice Chair, Florida Ocean Alliance
  • Former Senior Science & Sustainability Consultant, HydroPro-Tech, LLC
  • Senior Vice President for Science and Business Development, AquaFiber Technologies Corporation

Beth Gitlin, PH.D.
Cabinent Member

  • Principal and Founder, BJG Global Consulting
  • Adjunct Professor, Fellow, Institute for Cross Cultural Management, Florida Institute of Technology
  • Vice Chair, Board of Directors, LEAD Brevard
  • Founder and Coach, Heart and Soul Dragon Boat Club, Inc.
  • Former Global Sourcing Director and Senior Buyer, Walmart

Vince Lamb
Cabinent Member

  • Chair, Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition
  • Member, Procedures Committee, Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program
  • Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper
  • Former Chairman, Florida Wildflower Society
  • Board Member, Indian River National Estuary Program

Michael Okaty
Cabinet Member

  • Managing Partner, Foley & Lardner, LLP
  • Board of Directors, New York University Alumni Association
  • Chair, National Committee of the American Bar Association and Assisted Living Group
  • Recipient of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business Corporate/M&A/Private Equity) 2021 from Chambers USA.

William Penney
Cabinet Member

  • President & CEO, Chairman of the Board, Marine Bank & Trust Company
  • Former Senior Vice President, Big Lake National Bank
  • Former Senior Vice President, Enterprise National Bank
  • Board Member, Former Chairman, Indian River Country Chamber of Commerce
  • Former Board Member, Vice Chairman & Treasurer, Ocean Research & Conservation Association

Chris Peterson
Cabinet Member

  • President, Hell’s Bay Boatworks
  • Board Member, St. Johns River Water Management District
  • Former President, Heath-Peterson Construction Corporation
  • Advisory Board, University of Florida Biological Field Station at Cedar Key
  • Recipient of Conservation Award for Industry, International Game Fish Association


Susan Adams

Clay Archey

Bruce Assam

Jim Barfield

Jacqueline Barker

Adam Bird

Jessica Cartagena Assam

Joan Engel

Darlene Evans-Borinski

Hope Fisher

Elaina Garvin

Toni George

Julie Harrison

Joseph Klein

Jennifer Lacey

Ann Luke

Dr. Alan Marumoto

Dawn Mays

Heather McDonough

Scott Miller

Bill Moore

J. Cole Oliver

Lewis Schwartz

Natasha Spencer

Mary Ann Sperando

Jim Swann

Barbara Wall Scanlon

Lynda Weatherman

William Glenn Young

Patty Ziegler

Milo Zonka


Ellen Winter, Ph.D. – Campaign Strategy & Principal Donors

Stephanie Mosedale – Campaign Strategy & Major Donors

Sherri Law – Major Donors

Luke Dumas – Foundation, Government, and Grants

Susan Philips – Corporate Giving

Becca Cord – Mid-level Giving

Bri Richards – Data & Metrics

Courtney Coniglio – Development Assistant

You Are Essential To

Our Legacy

This campaign is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate the positive impact of the East Coast Zoological Society’s work through Brevard Zoo and the new aquarium complex.