The Zoo has a passionate new group of wildlife ambassadors in its midst.
The Herd, formally known as Ambassadors Circle, is the Zoo Society’s young professionals membership group. Originally formed in 2015, the group has been quietly growing in size, with more than 80 members in 2019.
You may have heard of The Herd during the promotion and planning of Zoo Clues & Brews, the annual smartphone-based scavenger hunt that has been hosted by The Herd since 2015. The event has been a wild success each year, selling out quickly, taking over the Zoo Society’s social media feed for the week and raising more than $30,000 in support of the Zoo.
Members of The Herd have helped host the event by volunteering their time to work the event, creating the scavenger hunt questions, organizing the raffle and assisting with run-of-show.
“The success of Zoo Clues and the rate of growth of the membership group has proven that The Herd has strength in numbers,” said Sarah Crupi, Interim Executive Director of the Zoo Society.
“I’ve been so impressed with the passion, energy and organization of Herd members for the past three years, and I’m thrilled to help them launch a rebrand of their group to grow even more awareness of the mission-driven initiatives they are working on in support of the Zoo,” said Crupi.
The Herd’s new brand is represented by a modern logo that features an elephant, with the tagline “Wildlife Ambassadors powered by the Cleveland Zoological Society.” Inspiration for the name, tagline and logo came from qualities that the largest land mammal possess — strength and community. An elephant herd is also often praised for its size, longevity, wisdom and loyalty. The refreshed branding embodies these characteristics, and more, as The Herd strives to be the premier pathway for the development of future community and conservation leaders in Northeast Ohio.
A full social calendar provides a variety of events, fundraisers and activities for members to attend throughout the year. Many events take place on Zoo grounds or in the community, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.
A monthly morning meetup to stroll the Zoo together.
Several times per year, members meet for updates and unique programming. In the past, meetings have featured talks from wildlife conservationists working with the Zoo, as well as hands-on animal enrichment projects such as building “buckets for bears.”
Zoo Clues & Brews:
The Herd’s signature fundraising event is August 21 this year, and tickets go on sale in July. It’s a fun and exciting adult scavenger hunt through the Zoo, hosted by The Herd.
Networking Nights at Terrestrial Brewing - New this year!
Dedicated evenings to mix and mingle with The Herd and other Cleveland young leaders groups, while supporting the Conservation Series at Terrestrial Brewing.
Tails & Cocktails Speaker Series:
New this year! Guests will hear experts from the Zoo and the Northeast Ohio community discussing a variety of topics impacting health and welfare, wildlife conservation and science education.
For members looking to get involved at an even deeper level, The Herd offers an opportunity for members to join various committees focused on areas such as marketing, events, member engagement and more. The hands-on committee approach promotes professional development outside of the office, strengthens bonds within the group and ensures that ideas stay fresh.
The Herd has implemented several successful member-driven ideas over the years including a yoga at the Zoo event, brunch fundraisers at Lago in The Flats, exclusive shopping fundraisers at Kendra Scott and more.
If you see any of the young leaders of The Herd out in the wild, be sure to stop them to ask about the wonderful things they are doing to support securing a future for wildlife for the next generation. There is plenty of time left this year a to follow The Herd on social media, become a member, or attend an event to learn more.