World Bird Sanctuary Promotes Dawn Griffard to Executive Director
ST. LOUIS – February 20, 2018 – The Board of Directors of World Bird Sanctuary is pleased to announce that Dawn Griffard is now the organization’s Executive Director.
“We are delighted and enthused to have Dawn assume the ultimate role of leadership for World Bird Sanctuary,” said John Kemper, Chair of World Bird Sanctuary Board of Directors. “She has an abundant passion for birds, great knowledge of how the organization operates, and is a consummate leader of people.”
Born & raised in Buffalo, NY, Dawn earned her degree in Photography and Fine Arts at Villa Maria College, which she used to work as a freelance photographer for 12 years in the Buffalo area. She then segued into freelance work as an Operations Producer for ESPN Productions, traveling the country to help organize and produce remote sporting events including NFL, NHL, MLB, PGA, NCAA, and Winter and Summer X Games events.
A lifelong lover of all animals, and having served as a docent at the Buffalo Zoo, Dawn accepted a position as Practice Manager for Board-Certified Avian Veterinarian, Dr Laura Wade. Here she helped Dr. Wade build her new specialized Avian/Exotic practice literally from the ground up. She learned as much as she could from Dr. Wade and continuing education courses about bird species, their care and husbandry, so she could serve as an assistant in examinations and surgeries while simultaneously performing managerial duties for the clinic. With this training, Dawn then became a licensed New York State Wildlife Rehabilitator with mentor Marianne Hites, and then began assisting Dr. Kurt Volle at the Buffalo Zoo Veterinary Hospital. At the Buffalo Zoo, she continued her work and learning by taking part in daily examinations, procedures and surgeries with species ranging from vampire bats to Asian elephants – including birds, of course.
Having developed a clear passion for birds of all kinds, Dawn set her sites on World Bird Sanctuary when she moved to St. Louis in August of 2014. Starting as a volunteer in the Nature Center, she was then hired by Walter C. Crawford Jr, and worked many jobs within the next 3 years throughout the sanctuary, including Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator, Director of Development and now, Executive Director.
Last summer, Dawn was proud to become a Missouri Master Naturalist. This year, she will begin work towards a Masters in Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
About World Bird Sanctuary
World Bird Sanctuary, founded in 1977, has been a leader in the successful battle to save the peregrine falcon, the American barn owl, and bald eagle from extinction. One of the largest institutions of its kind in the United States, World Bird Sanctuary is a unique blend of a beloved St. Louis destination, respected conservation organization, and successful education and rehabilitation facility.
The agency carries out its mission through operation of four programs: education, rehabilitation, propagation, and field studies:
Education programs that foster an understanding, appreciation and respect for bird of prey species are delivered to nearly 300,000 annually.
Our Wildlife Hospital rehabilitates an average of 400 birds of prey every year, of which 43% are released back into the wild.
Propagation efforts have been pivotal in the preservation of many endangered species.
The field studies program provides in-depth research into the secret lives of many bird species in order to better understand them and possibly intercept any present or future danger to their ability to flourish.