Zoo Advisors is a full-service consulting firm providing business, organizational, analytical, fundraising, and financial expertise to zoo, animal, and conservation organizations. We have many years of experience working with zoological institutions across the country. David Walsh, ZA’s Principal, is well respected within the industry and has earned accolades from his clients and peers. He works collaboratively with design teams to provide realistic, yet visionary ideas for growth for facilities, organizations, and funding.
Zoo Advisors’ philosophy is to balance your conservation and education mission with its bottom line and the need for financial sustainability. We understand the challenge of balancing the client’s institutional vision while maximizing your funding and managing the organization and expenses. We have helped many of your colleagues create high performing organizations and can leverage that expertise for you.
Our team has extensive experience in working with zoos of all sizes across the country. We have helped develop Strategic, Business, and Operational Plans for more than fifty AZA-accredited institutions with budgets from less than $1,000,000 to over $30,000,000 and attendance ranging from 75,000 to over 2,500,000. We regularly provide expert counsel to zoo leaders across the country. One of the key advantages Zoo Advisors provides is its ability to unite stakeholders behind a common vision and develop an actionable plan to achieve success.
The Zoo Advisors Team
Principal and Founder David Walsh is an expert at helping institutions understand and link business and financial strategies with enhanced experiences and facilities. His expertise was built through a successful career in the non-profit, corporate, and entrepreneurial worlds, focusing on business management issues, finance, organizational dynamics, and governance. Full Bio →
Eric Miller, DVM, brings 35 years of experience as a seasoned zoo executive and veterinarian. Eric rose through the ranks at the world-renowned Saint Louis Zoo to become Senior Vice President and Director of Zoological Operations. Eric offers Zoo Advisors' clients his extensive conservation mission perspectives as well as strategic advice on a wide range of issues facing today’s zoos. Full Bio →
Denise Aster has a broad leadership background in the Attractions Industry, stemming from her over 32 years working for AZA accredited facilities around the country. She has stewarded many departments to high levels of success over the last 15 years, including animal husbandry, public safety, site security, guest services and visitor experience. Full Bio →
Kathy Wagner applies 30 years of leadership to her role as a consultant. Her services include strategic planning, education and interpretive programming, organizational development, meeting facilitation, fundraising, grant writing, and evaluation. As Vice President for Conservation and Education at the Philadelphia Zoo, Kathy's team developed numerous award-winning programs. Full Bio →
Jackie Ogden brings over 30 years as an experienced leader in the zoological world. Jackie served 19 years with The Walt Disney Company as vice president of Animals, Science and Environment. Jackie brings expertise in executive leadership and is well-known within both the global and national zoological communities, and has served as Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Full Bio →
Kristin Elliott brings 24 years of strategic marketing, account and project management, operations, business development, and client relations expertise to the Zoo Advisors team. As a Project Consultant, Kristin leverages her deep understanding of how to communicate a firm’s value proposition to create new relationships and build thought leadership. Full Bio →
Zachary Winfield brings an expansive set of skills to Zoo Advisors gained through a multi-faceted career in the zoo, consulting, and business world. He has extensive experience implementing membership, marketing, and fundraising programs for zoos and other non-profit organizations. With an abiding love for data, Zach is expert at extracting meaningful and actionable information from large datasets. Full Bio →
Sherrie Graham brings more than 35 years of hands-on experience to our team. Over her career, she has developed a depth of expertise in a range of critical areas including organizational development, board management, and team building. She has sat on ‘both sides of the desk’, running an organization, but also providing expert counsel to Presidents, Development Staff, and Boards. Full Bio →
We know you have a choice of consulting services, but we’re confident you’ll appreciate the Zoo Advisors difference.
We listen to you and we respond. We’ll spend time with you before you hire us to make sure we get it right from the start and we’ll be there for you whenever you need us.
We work to help secure your long-term success. With each project, we provide a three- to six-month follow-up check to make sure you’re on track.
We nurture lasting relationships. We guarantee your satisfaction and will do whatever it takes to make sure you’re pleased with our services.
We believe that your mission comes first. To support the important work of our clients, we’re committed to giving back and contributing to AZA’s Conservation Endowment Fund for each of our consulting engagements.