Who we are!

We are the Greater Kansas City chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK).  Our chapter was first formed in 1984, and is still going strong!

Dedicated to professional animal care, AAZK’s national vision is to be the leader in the zoo and aquarium industry fostering professional development and personal connections that advance animal care, animal welfare and conservation.  The mission of AAZK is to advance excellence in the animal keeping profession, foster effective communication beneficial to animal care, support deserving conservation projects, and promote the preservation of our natural resources and animal life.

AAZK seeks to cultivate quality animal care by making available the latest techniques and resources in animal husbandry and management and by recognizing the efforts of groups and individuals for excellence in advancing the animal keeping profession and promoting conservation efforts. AAZK recognizes the role that our profession plays in the conservation and preservation of our wildlife and their habitats and encourages and promotes the support of deserving conservation projects through individual, chapter, and national endeavors. Through its Board of Directors, chapters, committees, conferences, and workshops, AAZK strives to encourage initiative in order to help develop future leaders in today's zoos and aquariums.

The Greater Kansas City AAZK chapter focuses on three main goals:  animal care and husbandry for wild and domestic species, conservation and education on a local and worldwide scale, and professional development opportunities for our members.  The Greater Kansas City AAZK chapter is open to all individuals interested in animal care and conservation—not only employees of zoos and aquariums—and its members hale from many areas of animal care within the Kansas City area community.  KC AAZK hosts and attends several events throughout the year to promote husbandry and conservation, bring awareness of environmental issues, and instill a sense of respect for all living things.

Not a member?  Contact us for information about our First-time Member Incentive Program!

Get Involved!

AAZK is a great way to network locally and nationally with people who share your interests.

Benefits: AAZK publications, conferences, and chapter activities provide animal caretakers with a means to exchange ideas and discuss new methods of professional care, observations on animal behavior, and other information.

Animal Keepers' Forum, the monthly journal of AAZK National, is the principal vehicle for communication among animal care professionals.


To become a member of the local Greater KC AAZK chapter please Contact Us!

To become a member of AAZK National visit this website: http://aazk.org/join/

Join today and become a part of the change!

Chapter Awards & Accolades 

Chapter Officers

Chapter Officers 2017

Below is a list of the current Officer positions, as well as a brief overview of their duties.  The duties list is not inclusive and may encompass additional duties as required.

President - Jacque Blessington

  • Facilitates meetings, oversees chapter operations

Vice President - Erin Cahill Black

  • Serves in absence of president, assists in overseeing chapter operations

Secretary - Jessica Murphy

  • Collects and reports meeting minutes, tracks member point system, manages new member forms and member contact list

Treasurer - Pam Trueblood

Manages bank accounts, reports financial transactions at meetings, tracks local and national dues and fundraising transactions



Committees 2016
Below is a list of the current Office and Committee positions, as well as a brief overview of their duties.  The duties list is not inclusive and may encompass additional duties as required.

1) Assistant to Treasurer - Dawn Falls
  • Assists Treasurer in their duties as needed, and fulfills their duties in their absence

2) Liason - Jessica Murphy
  • Reports chapter activities to the AAZK National Animal Keepers' Forum

3) Conservation - Erin Black, Dawn Falls, Jessica Murphy

  • Coordinates and advertises art sales events, manages art inventory

4) Historian - John Beachey

  • Coordinates and compiles media for the chapter's history album

5) Fundraising - Pam Trueblood, Dawn Falls

  • Compile ideas and logistics for fundraising events, assists treasurer in tracking fundraising financials

6) Professional Development - Jacque Blessington*

  • Coordinates education classes, speakers, site visits, and membership drives and recruitment

7) Social Media - Dawn Falls (Facebook & Instagram), Erin Black (Email), Jessica Murphy (Website)

  • Maintains and posts updates on chapter's website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites

8) Feather Project - Steven Beal, Samantha Houston

  • Maintains inventory of bird listings and distributes collection bags, compiles and mails feathers to various projects

Bowling For Rhinos Committees 2017

1) Sponsors/Brochures/Incentives - Jacque Blessington*, Pam Trueblood, Dawn Falls, Jessica Murphy

  • Updates annual forms, monitors sponsor and bowler database, coordinates incentive program and mailing of thank you letters

2) Public Relations - Samantha Houston

  • Works with PR teams of Affiliate Organizations, creates timeline for press events, and helps coordinate bowler database

3) T-shirts/Awards - Dawn Falls

  • Coordinates annual shirt design submission and selection, as well as shirt order and bowler awards 

*Committee chair