Woodland Park Zoo announces Lauri Hennessey as VP of Communications and Public Affairs; Sarah Valentine as VP of Development

SEATTLE, 2017-Jan-06 — /Travel PR News/ — Woodland Park Zoo is pleased to announce its new Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, Lauri Hennessey, and new Vice President of Development, Sarah Valentine.

Lauri Hennessey, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs

Hennessey joined the zoo in December 2016. She oversees government relations, public relations, digital communications and advocacy. To her role, she brings more than 25 years of experience in the news media, on Capitol Hill, and as a senior government public affairs manager, nonprofit executive director and fundraiser. Most recently she served as vice president for public affairs at Edelman Public Relations in Seattle and the senior vice president for Metropolitan Group.

Beginning her career at Seattle’s KIRO Radio, Hennessey went on to serve as congressional press secretary for U.S. Representative John Miller (Seattle) and others; as regional head of public affairs for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management; and as the congressional liaison for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle. She transitioned to the nonprofit sector and led several nonprofits, including the Municipal League of King County. Running her own company for a decade, Hennessey helped Northwest nonprofits with public affairs, media, public relations and crisis communications, including the YMCA of Greater Seattle, Camp Fire, Treehouse, and Lifelong AIDS Alliance. During that time, she wrote an awardwinning newspaper column on parenting.

A frequent media trainer and public speaker, Hennessey’s greatest passion is helping nonprofits develop powerful storytelling and solid crisis communications. Active in fundraising, she currently serves on the board of Treehouse and on the development committees of Thrive Washington and Mary’s Place. In her spare time, she enjoys singing and acting in community theater.

Sarah Valentine, Vice President of Development

Valentine joined Woodland Park Zoo in 2012 as major gifts and planned giving officer; she was promoted to director of philanthropy in 2014. After beginning her career in public relations and public affairs in the Seattle offices of Hill+Knowlton, managing strategic communications initiatives for a diverse cross-section of clients, she transitioned to nonprofit fundraising. Over the course of her fundraising career, Valentine has worked in a variety of environments, both national in scope and at the local/regional level, honing high level skills in all key areas that contribute to building organizational capacity.

Prior to the zoo, Valentine was director of stewardship and donor relations at American University in Washington, D.C., where she built a thriving donor relations and donor communications program at one of the U.S. capital’s flagship universities while playing a key role as a member of the office of development and alumni relations leadership team. Shortly after joining Woodland Park Zoo’s development team, Valentine helped the zoo complete its milestone More Wonder More Wild Campaign in 2013.

A Seattle-area native, Valentine graduated from Seattle Preparatory School and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif. She earned her designation as a Certified Fundraising Executive in 2013, serves as a Board Member of the Washington Planned Giving Council and speaks regularly on fundraising and related topics in the greater Seattle area.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats through more than 40 field projects in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future ecological health and sustainability. Free Wi-Fi is available for zoo guests, made possible through products donated by Cisco. For more information, visit www.zoo.org.

Media contact: Gigi Allianic, Alissa Wolken
206.548.2550 | woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org

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