Rhode Island Zoological Association

Rhode Island Zoological Society (RIZS) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports and maintains Roger Williams Park Zoo.  RIZS works to secure the public and private sector support needed by the Zoo to continue to develop new world-class exhibits, make significant contributions to conservation, and serve the community as a valuable source of environmental education, recreation, and economic development.

By the mid 1960's, like so many zoos across the country, Roger Williams Park Zoo was showing visible signs of neglect. One determined individual, Sophie Danforth, recognized that the Zoo was an extremely valuable institution in need of organized assistance. She founded The Society in 1962 to increase public awareness and support for the Zoo, and to raise funds from the private sector. All trustees are fully independent, voting members of the Board. They serve the Society’s mission with no remuneration.

Maribeth Q. Williamson - Chair
Term Expires December 2019
Howard Merten - Vice Chair
Term Expires December 2018
Sandy Coletta - Treasurer
Term Expires December 2019
Margaret Ferguson - Secretary
Term Expires December 2018
Kristen Adamo - Board of Trustees
VP Marketing & Communications PWCVB; Term Expires December 2019
Nancy J. Allen - Board of Trustees
Community Representative; Term Expires December 2019
Douglas Caniglia - Board of Trustees
CSI DCI Construction, Inc.; Term Expires December 2019
Barbara S. Cottam - Board of Trustees
Dir. of Corporate Communications RBS Citizens Financial Group; Term Expires December 2018
Patrick LeBeau - Board of Trustees
Managing Director U.S. Trust; Term Expires December 2018
Kimberley M. Little - Board of Trustees
Community Representative; Term Expires December 2018
Liz Rollins Mauran - Board of Trustees
Community Representative; Term Expires December 2017
John J. Palumbo - Board of Trustees
Owner, President & Publisher, RI Monthly Communications, Inc.; Term Expires December 2019
Jeffrey Mello - Board of Trustees
Dean of the School of Business at Rhode Island College
Dana Goldberg - Board of Trustees
Vice President, Tax, Textron Inc.
Marc Santos
Real Estate Investor/Licensed realtor, Premier Properties
Steven M. Parente
Senior V.P., Director of Retail Banking, Bank RI
Teresa A, Crean, AICP
Coastal Community Planner, URI Coastal Resources Center & RI Sea Grant
Jonthan Seely
Founder, C.J. Designs, LTD
Sarah Denby
Community Leader
Marta Gómez-Chiarri
Professor, URI
Dr. Karen E. Silva
Department Chairperson of Graduate Business Programs, Johnson & Wales University


Dr. Jeremy Goodman, DVM
President, RI Zoological Society
Executive Director, Roger Williams Park Zoo
Wendy Nilsson
Superintendent of Parks


Dr. Jeremy Goodman, DVM
Executive Director, RI Zoological Society and Roger Williams Park Zoo
Tim French
Deputy Director of Animal Programs
Ron Patalano
Deputy Director of Operations
Sheri Avery
Director of Human Resources
Shareen Knowlton
Director of Education
Lou Perrotti
Director of Conservation Programs
Brooke Fairman
Director of Development
Diane S. Nahabedian
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Dave Pertuso
Chief Administrative Officer
Cheryl Vieira
Director of Visitor Services
Mike McBride, DVM
Director of Veterinary Services