Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo Names New Director of Philanthropy
SYRACUSE, NY, June 23, 2022 — The Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo has hired Gina Rapasadi of Clay as Director of Philanthropy. She is responsible for cultivating and strengthening relationships with key stakeholders to build effective strategies and sustainable revenue for major gifts in support of the zoo’s mission and strategic plan.
Originally from Canastota, NY, Rapasadi attended Plattsburgh University for event planning. Two years into her degree, however, the major was changed to Hotel Restaurant Tourism Management. She adapted to the change and while she garnered a unique set of skills, she knew hotel and restaurant management was not her passion. After college, she began working at the Rescue Mission Alliance of Syracuse, where she spent 17 years. She started her career in their development department – steadily working her way up, taking over events and volunteer services. While incredibly passionate about her work with the Rescue Mission, she knew it was time to start the next chapter in her life.
As a zoo member, Rapasadi and her son have been frequent zoo visitors for years. “I love the zoo and what it stands for, it’s just a magical place,” she said. Which is why when she saw there was an opening for the director of philanthropy position, she knew she had to jump at the chance. With a passion for supporting non-profit organizations and an incredible ability to connect with people, she knew she was the perfect addition to the team. “My expertise comes with event planning, donor relations, volunteer services, and a lot of working with and connecting with people,” she said.
“Gina’s ability to inspire others and get them excited about our mission is going to do wonders for the Friends of the Zoo,” said Friends of the Zoo Executive Director Carrie Large. “We are so excited to welcome her to the team.”