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FONZ Names Lynn Mento as New Executive Director

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The Board of Directors of Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) is pleased to announce that Lynn Mento has been named Executive Director.

Lynn brings extensive leadership experience in marketing and membership-skills that FONZ believes position her very well to lead the organization to and through the next exciting chapter of growth.

Lynn will be responsible for working with the Board and leading the staff to deliver on its mission of enriching visitor experiences, delivering transformational member and guest experiences and events, providing active volunteer and public education programs, supporting the Zoo's long-term financial sustainability, and building public awareness and support for the Zoo's conservation mission.

Lynn's executive leadership will drive FONZ to support the Zoo in new and innovative ways, building on the strong foundation Bob Lamb put in place during his tenure," says John Ring, Chair of the Board of Directors. "Her membership, marketing and leadership experience is superb, and we are thrilled to have Lynn leading the FONZ community."

Bob Lamb, FONZ's current Executive Director, announced his retirement earlier this year after being with the organization nine years.

"I'm really pleased for FONZ and believe that with Lynn's leadership, FONZ will flourish, diversify their educational offerings and develop a conservation membership program through which Americans across the country will learn about and support the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute," said Dennis Kelly, director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo. "We welcome Lynn and look forward to partnering with her."

Lynn has spent more than 30 years as a leader in marketing and membership, most recently as Senior Vice President, Membership and Member Engagement at AARP. During her tenure at AARP, she was also instrumental in developing the AARP Staying Sharp initiative, a member-driven program focused on a holistic approach to brain health.

"I am incredibly excited to join FONZ and work with a community of champions in support of our Smithsonian's National Zoo and the 2 million people who visit each year," Mento said. "I am eager to get started and further enrich the visitor experience and focus on our critical conservation mission."

Lynn has an English degree from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Capital Caring, a large, nonprofit hospice organization in Washington, DC. She resides in McLean with her family.

John Ring, FONZ Board Chair, is available for interviews.

FONZ worked with the executive search firm LeaderFit on this search.





Annie Linehan Czerwinski