The Zoological Society of Milwaukee awarded the Emu Egg, its highest honor, to business leader and Society Board member Rich Tennessen on Tuesday night. For 14 years Tennessen, president of Eppstein Uhen Architects, has contributed his expertise, time and insight to some of the Milwaukee County Zoo’s and Zoological Society’s biggest projects. He served as chair of the Zoological Society’s Board of Directors for three years and is a vital part of the Executive, Nominating and Finance Committees, ensuring the financial growth and long-term stability of the organization. He believes the mission of the Zoological Society is something everyone can get behind. “Different generations can have different focuses, but when it comes to conservation, education and support, all the things the Society does, there is a common connection,” he says.
The Society also gave out the following awards Tuesday:
- Loxodonta africana: Thrivent Mutual Funds. The Loxodonta africana (African elephant) Award is presented to a corporation or foundation that significantly supports the Zoological Society and Zoo through grants and/or sponsorships. Thrivent’s significant investment funded a major upgrade of the Zoological Society’s educational technology resources – from tablet computers to digital microscopes – which will help Society educators better and more deeply engage a diverse group of learners. The organization is also the sponsor of the Zoo’s popular new
- Pan paniscus: Gay Reinartz. The Pan paniscus (bonobo) Award is presented to an individual, corporation or foundation that demonstrates support of and commitment to the conservation efforts of the Zoological Society and Zoo. Reinartz, recognized internationally for her work in bonobo conservation, is the Zoological Society conservation coordinator and program director of the Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative (BCBI). Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, BCBI works to study and protect the bonobo, an endangered species of great ape and one of humankind’s closest relatives, and other wildlife in the Democratic Republic of Congo through survey work and support of anti-poaching patrols. Reinartz also serves as the coordinator of the Bonobo Species Survival Plan®, a captive bonobo breeding and management consortium for North American zoological institutions.
About the Zoological Society of Milwaukee
The mission of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee is to conserve wildlife and endangered species, educate people about the importance of wildlife and the environment, and support the Milwaukee County Zoo.