It's a Zoo To Do Party!

May 2, 2012 | Tag(s): zoo fundraiser, Zoo to Do, Zoo To Do 2012
By: L'jeanne, Advertising Manager
Whitney Zoo-To-Do

The biggest and best fundraiser in New Orleans is here and if you don’t have your tickets you better get them now!  The Whitney Zoo To Do at Audubon Zoo is Friday, May 4th featuring The Family Stone! To kick off the event, as you walk up we’ll have the Kinfolk Brass Band playing on Lupin Plaza. Once inside you’ll hear the lovely sounds of Anais St. John on Cooper Plaza.  The opening act on the main stage is Liquid Pleasure which is considered one of the best dance and show bands ever! They will get you in the perfect dance groove for the headliner band - The Family Stone.  This music band is not to be missed. With their great hits Everyday People, Dance to the Music and Hot Fun in the Summertime you’ll be dancing all night! Of course with all the partying and dancing you need some good eats and drinks. Zoo To Do sure has that covered for you.  We’ve got some great restaurants this year serving delicious foods like char-grilled oysters from Oceana Grill, BBQ shrimp and smoked gouda grits from Bourbon Vieux, mini mad caper from Reginelli's Pizzeria, Andouille stuffed shrimp brochettes from Superior Seafood, and many many more. Once you’ve had your share of savory and salty, I know you’ll be looking for some sweet desserts to please those taste buds. Onsite are Swiss Confectionery with a variety of chocolate desserts, ice cream from Creole Creamery and peanut butter chocolate pie from Feelings Cafe'. Let’s not forget about the libations. We’ve got all kinds of specialty concoctions to drink as well, so head over to one of the many cocktail stations to try an array of drinks. We’ll have a specialty draft from The Bulldog/Lager Ale House, Hot and iced coffee and frozen granitas from Cool Brew Coffee, the heat cocktail from Bourbon Heat, frozen pomegranite mojitos from Superior Seafood, margaritas from Superior Bar & Grill and some our featured cocktail bars are Republic National Distribution Company, Bacardi USA, and Crescent Crown Distribution. You must also visit our silent auction to bid on exotic vacations, sports collectibles and, of course, gorgeous jewelry.  Do you wanna try your luck at winning a brand new Lexus! Hurry to enter our raffle today. We only have about 200 tickets left and they are going fast. It’s going to be a night filled with fun, food, drinks and dancing. Tickets for the Whitney Zoo To Do are on sale now until 3:00pm on Friday! 



Info:                                     ~ Whitney Zoo To Do ~

                                               ~ Friday, May 4th ~

                                           ~ 8:00 pm – Midnight ~

                        ~ Black Tie or White Linen Suit for Gentleman ~
                                    ~ Cocktail Dresses for Ladies ~

                             ~ Proper attire required for admittance ~ 

Audubon Nature Institute's purpose of Celebrating the Wonders of Nature is woven into our vision of creating a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature. This vision is fulfilled by eight objectives that support our mission:

  • Provide a guest experience of outstanding quality
  • Exhibit the diversity of wildlife
  • Preserve native Louisiana habitats
  • Educate our diverse audience about the natural world
  • Enhance the care and survival of wildlife through research and conservation
  • Provide opportunities for recreation in natural settings
  • Operate a financially self-sufficient collection of museums and parks
  • Weave quality entertainment through the guest experience

Audubon Nature Institute’s family of museums and parks include:

  • Audubon Park and Riverview
  • Audubon Zoo
  • Woldenberg Riverfront Park
  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
  • Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center
  • Entergy IMAX® Theatre
  • Audubon Louisiana Nature Center
  • Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species
  • Audubon Wilderness Park
  • Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
  • Audubon Nature Institute Foundation

The Commission is, in effect, a board of trustees. Appointed to a six-year term by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council, the Commission is composed of 24 registered voters of the City of New Orleans. It retains all authority granted to it by Louisiana State Act No.191 of 1914. It has specific authority to approve and control design and development of its projects. All monies from bond or tax revenues, approved by the voters of New Orleans for the Audubon Commission, are administered by the Commission. Title to all improvements, furnishings and equipment at the facilities remains in the name of the City of New Orleans via the Audubon Commission.

Calendar Minutes

J. Kelly Duncan: President
Daniel O. Conwill IV: First Vice President
Linda G. Baum: Secretary
K. Barton Farris, MD: Treasurer

Judy Bajoie
Gayle Benson
Frances Fayard
Rashida Ferdinand
Ashley Francis
Deborah D. Harkins
Bruce R. Hoefer, Jr.
Wilmer Jacobs
Beth Lambert
Olivia Manning
Peter Moss
Field Ogden, MD
Pamela Ryan
Charles C. Teamer
Tom Watson
Carol B. Wise
D. Brent Wood

The Audubon Nature Institute Board oversees Audubon Nature Institute, the 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation currently managing day to day operations for all of the Commission’s facilities through a management contract between the Board and the Audubon Commission. All employees work for the Audubon Nature Institute, Inc. Elected by the 30,000 membership households of Audubon Nature Institute, at least 75% of the Institute’s 32 Board members live in Orleans Parish and at least 25% of them are minorities. Members are elected for no more than two consecutive four-year terms. Funds generated by the Institute’s operations and fund raising efforts are administered by the Institute. Certified audited statements of the Audubon Nature Institute are provided to the Audubon Commission on an annual basis.

Meet Our Board Calendar Minutes

Leslie P. Gottsegen, DDS: Chairman
Joseph A. Jaeger, Jr.: First Vice Chair
Christopher Bardell: Second Vice Chair
Katherine B. Werner: Recording Secretary
Ronald Markham: Corresponding Secretary
Vincent J. Palumbo: Treasurer
Lynes R. Sloss: Parliamentarian
Stephanie S. Feoli: Immediate Past Chair

Byron A. Adams, Jr.
Robert W. Brown
Jennifer D. Charpentier, MD
Cecile V. Colhoun
Paul Fine
John F. French
Jeffrey B. Goldring
Jennifer S. Heebe
André V. Hooper
Deirdre O. Hooper, MD
Stephen Kupperman
F. Theodore Le Clercq
Nolan A. Marshall, III
John Payne
J. Stephen Perry
Julie Quinn
Charles L. Rice, Jr.
Mark C. Romig
Virginia F. Rowan
Michael O. Smith
Allison B. Tiller
Thomas D. Westfeldt II

The Audubon Nature Institute Foundation is a 501(c)3 support organization whose mission is to manage and increase the Audubon Nature Institute endowment while it provides additional operating revenues for Audubon’s facilities. The Board consists of eight members, of which one is the Chairman of the Audubon Nature Institute Board. The other seven members are elected by the Board membership for a three-year term. Audubon Nature Institute Foundation William A. Goldring, Chairman Leslie Gottsegen, DDS, Vice Chairman Linda G. Baum Catherine H. Cary Stephanie S. Feoli Joseph A. Jaeger, Jr. Peter E. Moss II Charles C. Teamer, Sr., Ph.D.

L. Ronald Forman, President and Chief Executive Officer

A past president of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, Ron Forman began his tenure with Audubon Park and Zoological Garden in 1972 as City Hall liaison. Made Deputy Director in 1973 and Executive Director in 1977, the major transformation of Audubon Zoo from an "urban ghetto" to an "urban Eden" was underway.

Today, Ron Forman oversees a family of attractions and facilities that make up the dynamic Audubon Nature Institute, leading a staff of 600 people in the Audubon mission of conservation and education.

Forman serves locally on the New Orleans Business Council, is Chairman of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District and the Immediate Past Chairman of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau. A past member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Museums, he is also on the Advisory Committee of Chimp Haven.

Read more about Ron Forman

Audubon Nature Institute Senior Staff:

  • Ron Forman—President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Bill Kurtz—Senior Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff
  • Larry Rivarde—Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Zoo and Park
  • Laurie Conkerton—Executive Vice President for Development
  • Richard Buchsbaum—Vice President of Food & Beverage and Special Events
  • Clyde Butler—Senior Vice President of Construction
  • Joel Hamilton—Vice President and General Curator
  • Steve Dorand -Senior Vice President of Design & Exhibitry
  • Chimene Grant—Vice President of Marketing
  • John Hewitt—Senior Vice President/Director of Animal Husbandry 
  • Debra McGuire—Vice President/Gift Shops
  • Toni Mobley—Vice President of Human Resources
  • David NiebuhrVice President of Education
  • Rich Toth - Acting Managing Director, Downtown Facilities

Audubon Nature Institute is committed to transparency. As a successful example of the public/private partnership model, Audubon values its role as a steward of the public trust. A fiscally responsible 501(c)3 non-profit, Audubon Nature Institute is an enduring and ethical community partner which effectively manages its collection of attractions and facilities on behalf of the City of New Orleans.

Magic, wonder, connection—Audubon Nature Institute attractions inspire these feelings. Connection to nature; a sense of wonder at the incredible world around us; the magic of the continuing circle of life—each visit to an Audubon attraction is filled with all this.

Audubon's guests have grown to expect the sense of wonder that comes with the discovery of new and exciting features. These capital projects are important for a number of reasons. New features throughout Audubon Nature Institute generate visitation, which in turn generates revenue to keep Audubon at the leading edge of conservation, education and quality family attractions. New projects implement the latest in enrichment and technology, incorporating newest and best practices in management for Audubon's cherished collection of animals, many of which are critical to breeding programs to stem the tide of extinction. These projects also fuel the economy of our region, providing jobs and economic impact.

Recently Completed Projects:


Capital Projects In Progress:


Capital Projects Planned for the Future:

  • Cool Zoo III
  • Cooper Plaza lighting
  • Asian Elephants III including new tiger habitat, lorikeets and primates
  • Jaguar Jungle II with nocturnal house
  • Louisiana Swamp Cafe improvements
  • African Savannah
  • Great Maya Reef
  • Penguin Parade
  • Wetlands Gallery



  • 2008: Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is the first major attraction to open in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, adding more fun and foot traffic to Canal Street.
  • 2006: Audubon Aquarium reopens the following spring with the joyous return of its penguins, signaling recovery is indeed underway.
  • 2005: Hurricane Katrina is a heart-stopping milestone. In November, tears flow as Audubon Zoo welcomes weary residents back to their Zoo in an emotional homecoming.
  • 2003: Audubon invites educators and community groups to take advantage of the Jeri and Robert Nims Community Center, a community meeting room and resource center at Audubon Zoo.
  • 2001: Guests are welcomed into the heart of Audubon Zoo with a dynamic new front gate, including a palm-line promenade and a large, colorful flock of flamingos.
  • 2001: The challenging Audubon Golf Course changes the face of golfing in New Orleans when it is renovated and opened to the public in Audubon Park.
  • 2000 : An Audubon Park tradition is renewed with the construction of Audubon Tea Room, replacing an iconic building destroyed by fire in the 1970s.
  • 1998: A stunning example of innovation in immersive exhibitry, Jaguar Jungle opens at Audubon Zoo with spider monkeys, anteaters and jaguars within a setting filled with authentic reproductions of ancient Central American structures.
  • 1996: Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species brings new focus to the Survival Center. The Research Center logs 26 scientific firsts and earns Audubon Nature Institute worldwide accolades in conservation.
  • 1995: Entergy IMAX® Theatre opens on the New Orleans Riverfront.
  • 1994: Audubon assumes operation of Louisiana Nature Center.
  • 1993: Audubon opens a secluded 1200-acre breeding center for endangered species, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center.
  • 1990: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas opens and introduces family tourism to downtown New Orleans.
  • 1986: Voters approve a $25 million bond issue to build Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, located in a brand new space that took the dilapidated New Orleans riverfront and, for the first time, opened it up and renovated it so everyone could enjoy it.
  • 1960s1970s: Audubon Zoo suffers severe disrepair. The public demands closure unless changes happen. Friends of the Zoo forms, and Audubon Zoo is on its way to world-class. As a private, not-for-profit, Audubon Zoo generates operating funds from revenue earned, managing the Zoo (and future attractions and facilities) on behalf of the City of New Orleans. Cities nationwide take notice as the Zoo opens natural habitat exhibits where animals thrive and attendance soars.