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Cleveland Zoological Society elects new trustees at annual meeting

CLEVELAND – MAY 30, 2014 –The Board of Trustees of the nonprofit Cleveland Zoological Society, the advancement partner of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, elected a new president as well as four new trustees at its recent annual meeting.

The following officers were elected: Zoo Society President, James L. Francis, Vice President of Human Resources, Swagelok; Vice President, Thomas Leiden, President & CEO, Leiden Cabinet Company; Vice President, Meg Ratner; Treasurer, Eric S. Hall, Director of Operations, Dominion East Ohio; and Secretary, Justin Horton, Partner, Stratos Wealth Partners. Virginia “GiGi” Benjamin, Partner, Calfee, Halter & Griswold, transitioned from President to Immediate Past President.

New trustees include: Amy Casner, an attorney who specializes in general corporate counsel and political fundraising; Hugh E. McKay, Partner-in-Charge of Porter Wright’s Cleveland office; Matthew P. LoPiccolo, Vice President and CIO of Swagelok; Michelle Pierre-Farid, Chief Academic Officer for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Two longtime Zoo Society supporters and Trustees, Robert J. Rogers and Lauren B. Spilman, were elected life trustees in recognition of their commitment to and support for the Zoo Society.

James L. Francis
joined the Zoo Society Board of Trustees in 2009. He soon will be retiring from Swagelok, where he is currently Vice President of Human Resources. Prior to joining Swagelok, Jim worked for BF Goodrich for more than twenty years. He received his M.A. in Counseling from Cleveland State University and B.S. in Education, English from Otterbein College. Jim was instrumental in the development of the Swagelok’s Bulk Buy Zoo Membership Program for its employees. Jim has been active on the Zoo Society Executive and Strategic Planning Committees.

The Cleveland Zoological Society promotes Cleveland Metroparks Zoo as a civic priority and maintains the largest membership program in Northeast Ohio (42,800 households). Zoo Society donors help the Zoo and Zoo Society fulfill a shared mission to create compelling experiences that connect people with wildlife.

Media contact:
Elizabeth T. Fowler, Executive Director
(216) 635.3342