Zoo Ambassadors - Blank Park Zoo

Bookmark and Share Zoo Ambassadors

The Blank Park Zoo Ambassadors are a group of philanthropic individuals with a desire to promote the mission of the Blank Park Zoo throughout the State of Iowa. We strive to fund raise and plan Zoo events, participate in volunteer projects, and network and socialize with other like-minded professionals. As a premier support group, the Ambassadors are committed to conservation, education, recreation, and the future of Blank Park Zoo.

  • Ambassadors serve as advocates for the Blank Park Zoo in the central Iowa community and throughout the State of Iowa.
  • Ambassadors provide a fun and rewarding social experience, while promoting the advancement of the Blank Park Zoo.
  • Ambassadors enhance the Blank Park Zoo by participating in one activity each year for each area of the Zoo’s mission; education, recreation and conservation.
  • Ambassadors host one event each year with a goal of donor and member cultivation.
  • Ambassadors host one event each with a goal of fund raising for the Zoo.
  • The Ambassador Executive Committee members take an active role in the future of the Zoo by offering their input and ideas.

Gators on the Green Annual Golf Tournament (2012, 2013, 2014)"
Quarantine Building Bird Perching (2013)
Bald Eagle Exhibit Clean-Up (2013)
Lemur Exhibit Clean-Up & Adoption (2012)
Critter Corner (2012)
Gibbon Exhibit Clean-Up & Adoption (2011)
Animal Adventure Guide (2011)
Education Zoo Mobile (2010)


Join Us!
The Blank Park Zoo Ambassadors are always searching for new members! The Ambassadors meet once a month on Thursdays alternating between day and evening meetings and socials.  To learn more about the Ambassadors, or to become an active participant please Click Here    


Executive Committee

Lori Strum - Chair

Lori Strum grew up in Prairie City, Iowa and has been a resident of Norwalk for 13 years. She has three children, ages 19, 12 and 9, and also has two dogs, 2 cats, a gerbil and many fish at home! Lori has been in the advertising industry for over 25 years and currently works for Performance Marketing as a Media Planner/Buyer.  She has been involved with the Zoo Ambassadors for four years now, and currently serves as chair of the group. Other volunteer activities for the Zoo include selling memberships in the summer time and Zoo Brew duty. Lastly, she sits on the AAF (American Advtg Federation) of Des Moines board, and is the American Adtg Awards Chair this year.


Sarah Galeazzi - Vice Chair

Sarah was born and raised in Cedar Falls, but has lived in Des Moines for the last 10 years.  She is passionate about animals and has been her whole life. Sarah and her husband foster dogs and are active volunteers for Aheinz57.  They have 3 dogs of their own and a cat, and Sarah enjoy working with the Blank Park Zoo as she feels it has been a great opportunity to meet people and make a difference for our community. Sarah is a Project Manager at Athene USA (formerly Aviva USA).



 Lauren Steenhoek - Communications Chair

Lauren currently serves as Project Administrator for the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has passion for coordinating events and serving the community she’s a part of. In addition to her Zoo Ambassador commitment, she serves on the Women for Wish Kids Committee, Hyperion Women’s Golf Committee and is the Community Outreach Director for Journey Church. Lauren is an Iowa import, originally from Rockford, IL. She currently lives in Urbandale, IA with her husband, Stuart. They enjoy great local foodie spots, golfing, and are devoted Green Bay Packers fans (and part-owners). 

 Joe Marshall - Secretary

Joe was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, and attended the University of Iowa after high school. Joe has lived in Des Moines for almost a year and works for Hy-Vee as Assistant Manager. Joe has a passion for sports, real estate, entrepreneurship, mentorship, and animals. He joined the Ambassadors to become involved in the Des Moines community and learn more about animal species conservation. It is his career goal to become CEO for Hy-Vee.



Chris Seiberling - Golf Committee Co-chair

Chris Seiberling is the past chair of the Zoo Ambassadors (2012) and the current Gators on the Green co-chair. Chris was born and raised in Des Moines, and attended Simpson College. He currently resides in Beaverdale. Chris is employed at Merchants Bonding Company as a contract underwriter. He enjoys golfing, running, and traveling. He is married to his wife Katie of 6 years and they have a daughter, Ada, age 5.




Billy Howe - Golf Committee Co-chair and Past Chair






Kelly Anderson
Laura Briggs
Marissa Brown
Steve Burke
Ryan Day
Mandy Espey
Paul Espey
Heidi Feltz
Jenna Gilmer
Shelley Gooder
Ray Hansen
Jon Harris
Joe Longenecker
Dave Stone
Leanna Whipple

Copyright © 2014 Blank Park Zoo. All Rights Reserved.