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Meeting Minutes: October 2013

NYC AAZK General Meeting Minutes – Sunday, October 20, 2013

Location: New York Aquarium: Sharks in the City!
Current Members: Robin Sutker, Tom Anderson, Allison Shaw, Joe Nappi, Rob Blakely, Mo Ortiz, Heather Tassler, Mary Gremler, Michelle Medina, Matthew LeBron, Sarina Cella, Tyrone Nickens, Cindy Maur
Future Members:
G, Nicole Ethier, Yang Ting Lau, Leonard A Bille Jr, Adrienne Nussey, Tammy Lam, Kiana Gourdine, Michelle Wu, Mike Camardell, Barry C., Virginia Fioribello, Stephanie Mitchell, Deanna DeRosa, Mike Wrubel, Sylvia de la Piedra, Martha Hiatt, Andrea Reimold, Natasha Karl, Kyle McKenna, Ellen Spencer, Hans Walters,Jillian Dombo, Neil DeMaster, J Elizabeth Clark, Christine Telesco Cancela, Angel R Cancela, Brittany Murphy, Francis Verna, Atu Marshall, Kayla Bergman, Lauren Del Grosso, Erin Mowatt, Brandon Waldron, Angie Coccoma, Hallie Schultz, Cristina Mendonca, Faiynn Goldferb, Christina Williams, Azzara Oston, Tierney O’Neal, Shuli Rank, Kelsey Kovner

Upcoming Events
-      Wednesday, Nov 20th-Enrichment Bonanza at the Bronx Zoo: Join us for holiday themed enrichment making including paper mache and other “presents” for our animals
-      Elections- Please let a current officer know ASAP if you are interested in an officer position starting Jan 1st. We will give membership an opportunity to learn about all candidates and membership will vote for our incoming officers before the Dec 20th meeting
-      Monday, Dec 9th- Holiday Party at Mc Faddens. Join us in celebrating a great year with drink specials and chances to win a free membership for next year.

Report of Finances for BFR- The totals are not yet fully in, but we do expect to make upwards of $4000 thanks to the efforts the Bowling for Rhinos committee with a special thanks to Lora Murphy, Liz Benham and Joe Nappi who were our top fundraisers. A special thanks to our WCS facilities who generously donated animal interactions for the BFR Committee to use as incentives for fundraising!

We are still selling BFR T-shirts!! T-shirts are still on sale! Email us if you want one! Chapter BFR t-shirts are $12 and National BFR t-shirts are $15
Committees- If you want to help make NYC AAZK’s events and meeting as fun as this NYA Event, please consider joining or helping a committee! Here are a few of the committees you can join:
-BFR                                                   -National Zoo Keeper Week
-Travel Grant Committee                     -Enrichment Committee
-Girl Scouts Committee                       -and much more!

Main Event- Sharks in the City!

We had a wonderful night of presentations covering topics from shark anatomy to novel shark/ ray training, to WCS involvement with shark in situ research. The presentations were followed by a behind the scenes tour of the NYA’s shark/ ray/ turtle holding pool. A special thanks to Andrea Reimold, Nicole Ethier, and Hans Walters for their great presentations and a special thanks to Lora Murphy and the NYA AAZK enthusiasts who planned such an impressive night!

Meeting Minutes: June 2013

June 20, 2013
AAZK Meeting w/ Guest Speaker Melissa Nelson on Public Speaking
Attended by: Robin Sutker, Cindy Maur, Sara Koplish, Melissa Ortiz, Lisa Walker, Elizabeth Mills, Kelly Carman, Ty Nickens, Jessica Chin, Randi Winter.

Presentation covered many aspects of public speaking including how to address different crowds for different kinds of talks, how to tackle difficult questions/subjects, how to exit gracefully and much more.

·        GNC: discussed volunteer days last Wednesday and Friday and the possibility of continuing the partnership between GNC and NYCAAZK. We can continue to volunteer and promote them at our events and they can sell our chopsticks in their shop.

·         Elections coming up in November, we can add positions if more people want to be involved by creating more specific titles.

o   Need to remind members to register for online voting.

·         Liaison Meetings: open to all departments from all of our zoos, want to increase our outreach.

·         Presentation Night: this year’s theme will be Training and Enrichment sometime in Sept or Oct

·         BFR: Lucky Strike $18/person for 16 lanes, possibly pushing date from August to September getting up to all 22 lanes (need to see how much the tickets would be to book all lanes).

o   Allowed to sell merchandize, baked item raffle
o   $3 beer/$6 pizza
o   For big money raisers ($50/$100) we can offer a tee-shirt and 3x raffle entry
o   Trying to push people to raise money above the ticket price
o   Kathleen is checking with Breheny for animal encounter prize
o   Need to solidify tee shirt design and quantity (100)

·         Dues: possibly enabling PayPal for dues, will most likely cost us money though; there is currently no prorating on membership dues.
Upcoming Events
National Zookeeper Week July 21st –27th

Overlook Bar July 31st (RSVP) 44th & 2nd food and drink specials

Meeting Minutes: May 2013

 May 20, 2013: Enrichment Bonanzas

Hosted by Bronx Zoo and Prospect Park Zoo
Attendance (Bronx): Members- Mary Gremler, Matt LeBron, Heather Tassler, Elizabeth Mills, Sara Koplish, Lisa Walker, Danielle Steele, Cindy Maur, Joe Nappi, Melanie Weber; Future Members- Sara Gonzalez, Vanessa Jones, Sylvia de la Pieda, Natasha Karl, Anna Burgos, Leah Simoncek, Dana Caton, Anthony Buffill.
PPZ: Member Tom Anderson; Future Members-Tom Anderson, Atu Marshal, Allison Shaw, Brittany Murphy, Lora Murphy, Allison Hague and Ashley Herbolich

Central Park And Queens are rescheduling their bonanzas, dates TBD.

Group phone chat around 6pm with Bronx/PPZ/Robin/Mo
·         Announced vote on co-secretaries (9-yes/2-no) Mo Ortiz and Lisa Walker
·         Photo Contest- open to zoo staff and the public, need submissions of animal photos, cash prizes, due date June 15
·         National Keeper Week activities- night event at Overlook bar, keeper profiles, silent auction, keeper grams, enrichment chats, ‘members night’ tables
o   Need submissions for Keeper Profiles
·         Voted yes to increase budget for keeper gift from $400 to $654 for one nicer item ($3/item) for everyone rather than a few smaller items for everyone. (14 -yes/ 0-no)
·         Travel Grant for $250 for AAZK Conference applications due by July 1st

Bonanza festivities went well. We made smaller items for bird department and children zoo like treat rings, and origami treat holders. We had lots of scents and girl-scout made enrichment to give away. For the larger animals we made a fire hose braid, A-33 barrel enrichment, huge origami style stuffed ball for “Happy” the elephant and some large paper mache animals (ostrich and giraffe).  

**Rescheduling Cook-off competition**

JUNE 2nd UPDATE: Photo Contest deadline extended to August 15th with new pricing of $5 for up to 5 photos, members can enter contest for free

Meeting Minutes- April 2013

NYCAAZK General Meeting Minutes – Saturday April 20, 2013

Location: Bronx Zoo, Admin East, Curator’s Room
Current Members:
Sarah Parker, Sara Koplish, Joe Nappi, Sarina Cella, Elizabeth Mills, Heather Tassler, Mo Ortiz, Michelle Medina, Robin Sutker, Cindy Maur, Danielle Steele, Flo Klecha

Future Members:
Lora Murphy, Kaitlyn Keys

-        Training successes and trials share timeIdeas for scale training
-        Reviewed last meetings minutes
Upcoming Events
-        Barnanza – Tuesday, April 30th 7:00 PM at Tavern on 3rd, bring friends
o   For future events we are considering some sort of bring non-members get in free deal
-        May Meeting/ Enrichment Bonanza – May 20th in Flaherty Learning Center
-        National Zookeeper Week – July 21-27th, night event, keeper profiles, keeper grams, gifts
-        BFR – Still approving venue, possibly Lucky Strikes
-        Run for the Wild – April 27th
-        Photo Contest live May 1st, please push interest on Facebook, etc.
o   Finishing up rules
o   Will discuss if it is worth it to produce a calendar, and if we do we will get it printed much earlier
-        AAZK National Conference call for papers deadline – May 15th
Treasurer Report of finances
-        Still have $5000.00
-        We need to re-work our mission statement to reflect how NYCAZZK has evolved since its creation.
-        Thank you Michelle for all of your technical support.
-        How can we make meetings more attractive?
-        Do we have to meet every month?  Can we meet at each facility independently every month with a collective meeting only every few months?


-        Went over scoring guide for the travel grant recipient.
o   VOTE: Unanimously voted for approval by committee using scoring template beginning with October travel grant.
-        Travel Grant recipient presentation from Melissa Ortiz, Queens Zoo Vet Tech
o   Applying for the Travel Grant to attend the Thirty-Third annual conference of Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians to be held Sept 5th to 9th in Seward Alaska by the Alaska Sealife Center
o   She will be presenting this year on "Obtaining voluntary End Tidal Carbon Dioxide values in awake California sea lions"
o   The purpose of this paper is to find out what CO2 levels sea lions live with comfortably while they are awake, compare it to their anesthetized values
§  In the future develop a case to see if this does in fact have to do with their dive reflex
o   VOTE: Unanimously voted YES for Melissa to receive grant. Good luck!

Meeting Minutes- March 2013

NYCAAZK General Meeting Minutes – Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Current Members: Veronica Smith, Tyrone Nickens, Dawn Davis, Robin Sutker, Crystal DiMiceli, Melanie Melendez, Veronica Thomas, Karen Kolstad, Cindy Maur, Hulya Israfil, Tom Anderson, Sarina Cella, Robert Blakely, Sara Koplish, Mo Ortiz, Katelyn Massarone

Future Members: Nora Bierne, Sosha Fusco

Training successes and trials share time
-         Snow leopard voluntary ultrasound
-         Shark targeting and stationing
-         Cloud rat voluntary tactile
-         Voluntary blood pressure on cougars
-         Sea lions giving voluntary breaths by barking or whistling into anesthesia cone in order to measure CO2 levels under anesthesia.  If anyone at other parks are interested in participating in study, please

 Introduced new logo to go along with name change.
-         See

Upcoming Events
-         Earth hour – March 23rd at 8:30 turn off your lights for one hour.
-         Chopsticks for Salamanders – March 27th after work at Sunny’s Chinese 81st and 3rd
-        Travel grant deadline April 1st.  Please apply.
-         Barnanza – April.  Proceeds go to Greenburgh Nature Center
-         TIGER – April 19th.  Volunteer opportunity to read books about animals to kids.
-         Girl Scouts – April 4th, 8th May 2nd, 6th, 30th – Teach scouts about enrichment.  Please volunteer for two days so that girls can make enrichment items at second session.
-         Run for the Wild – April 27th – We will have a table and give out stickers.
-         Photo Contest begins May 1st – small donation required per photo entered.  One winner from each of three categories will win a cash prize.  All photos eligible for calendar.  Extra money goes to AAZK or a charity.
-         AAZK National Conference call for papers deadline – May 15th – If anyone would like to work with Mo to write up something for the Sea Lion CO2 levels study, email
-         NZKW – mid July

National Zookeeper Week
-         We will be doing many things including members nights, artist showcase, silent auction, collages, keeper profiles, keeper grams and gifts for the keepers if budget is approved.
-         Vote to approve NZKW budget ($250-$300 for gifts).  Approved by unanimous vote.

Treasurer Report of finances
-        Spent $825 on recharter
-         Cheyenne Chapter donated $150 to the NYA to help with disaster relief
-         When all is said and done we will have $5068.00

National Updates
-         Please nominate people for awards -
-         Learning collaborative – online learning opportunities will be available for $25/ year

-         BFR --> end of August.  Still trying to decide on venue
-         Volunteer Opportunities --> Frogwatch (trainings forthwith, contact, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, TIGER
-         Barnanza -->Tavern on 3rd
-         CFS --> Mar 27th, selling chopsticks for $10, setting up a table for adopt a hellbender, setting up a donation jar and for the first ten people who gets signage in two restaurants or get one restaurant to sell chopsticks we will be giving out a free pair.
-         Travel Grant
o    Applicants must be a member of both national AAZK and of our chapter, and they must be an employee of WCS at the time of application as well as at the time of travel.
o    Vote: Should we give the grant before travel, or after travel upon the presentation of receipts? (1) before, (16) after --> Grant will be awarded after travel
o    Vote: Should the grant be awarded by the collective decision of all AAZK members, or should it be awarded by the decision of the committee using a rating system used y national AAZK? (4) all members (13) committee --> For the October grant, the decision will be made by the committee using a rating system
o    Motion to revisit awarding process decision after the rating system has been presented to members.  Motion seconded.  We will revisit this decision after the rating system is complete.

Please forward Liz Bennet's Elephant email to your friends and family or direct them to

Meeting Minutes- February 2013

NYCAAZK General Meeting Minutes - Wednesday, February 20

Location/Event: Bronx Zoo, Panel Discussion

Members: Robin Sutker, Cindy Maur, Sara Koplish, Sarah Parker, Elizabeth Mills, Tyrone Nickens, Melissa Ortiz, David Morales, Tom Anderson, Crystal DiMiceli, Sarina Cella, Allison Shaw, Karen Kolstad, Melanie Weber, Danielle Steele, Carol Henger, Katelyn Massarone, Mathew LeBron

Supporters: Josh Ginsberg, Patti Cooper, Jay Schuen

-        Name change results! We are now known as NYC AAZK
o   All constitutional amendments are voted on trough online voting; all other issues (budgets, charities, etc) can be voted on in person at a meeting
o   In order for a vote to pass there must be a majority vote (1/2 of the total votes)
o   However, if members abstain from voting their vote does not count; therefore the option with the most votes wins regardless of total number of votes
-        Barnanza charity voting!
o   Dolphin Communication Project
o   Greenburgh Nature Center WINNER
-        All of our digital media and will be changing soon to reflect this new name

Vice President:
-        Join a committee!
o   Travel grant
o   Chopsticks for Salamanders
o   Bowling for Rhinos
o   National Zoo Keeper Week
o   Girl Scouts
o   Volunteer opportunities
o   Presentation nights and Panel discussions
o   Enrichment
o   Calendar and photos

-        Pay your national dues!

-        Please register on the blog to vote!

Upcoming events:
-        Barnanza
o   Voted for a charity between the Dolphin Communication Project and The Greenburgh Nature Center
o   GNC won!
o   Evening will be in either March or April in Manhattan
-        Travel grant
o   All members are eligble for the bi-annual $500 grant
o   Application is on our website, deadlines are April 1 and October 1
o   The rules will be changing for the October 1 deadline, details from the committee are being worked on now
o   Applicants will hear if they are chosen to present at the next chapter meeting in the five days following the deadline
-        Chopsticks for Salamanders
o   Encourage your favorite Asian restaurant to use reusable chopsticks! We have signage to hang
o   Dinner event will be at a restaurant in Manhattan in either March or April
o   Bring your own or purchase official CFS chopsticks!
-        National Zoo Keeper Week!
o   We hope to have it at all five facilities this year! Mid July
o   The committee is working very hard to make this NZKW the best one yet!
-        Bowling for Rhinos
o   The committee is in the process of securing a bowling alley for August
-        Facility held events, meetings, and fundraisers
o   We want to hold at least one event at each of the five facilities! Let us know if you are interested

Panel discussion with: Dr. Elizabeth Bennett, Dr. Josh Ginsberg, and Julie Kunen
Presentation on what WCS global does, voting for Barnanza charity, open floor for panel discussion
 Thank you to our wonderful panel members!