Kaufmann Succeeds Sherri Koelbel to Lead the Zoo’s Board of Governors
Rob Kaufmann has been elected to serve as the chair of the Denver Zoological Foundation Inc. Board of Governors, which oversees the Zoo’s continued role as a leader in animal care, conservation and science education. Kaufmann takes over for Sherri Koelbel, who helped guide the Zoo through a period of leadership transition and was instrumental in the hiring of President/CEO Bert Vescolani.
“It’s an honor to take on this leadership role and I look forward to utilizing my nearly 10 years of experience on the Board as we continue to work on strategic improvements,” said Kaufmann, who also served as co-chair of the Zoo’s largest annual fundraiser along with his wife, Jen Gilbert-Kaufmann. “I’m excited for the chance to ensure that future generations have the same opportunities to connect with wildlife that have been so important to me and my family.”
Kaufmann will lead the Board for a two-year term and work to advance significant short- and long-term infrastructure improvements, including the construction of a new, state-of-the-industry animal hospital, transformation of the former polar bear exhibit into an improved grizzly bear habitat and execution of other Master Plan projects.
“We’re entering a very exciting period in the Zoo’s 123-year history, and steady, thoughtful leadership will be crucial in our upcoming efforts to enhance guest experience, care for our animals and conservation impact,” said Bert Vescolani, president/CEO of Denver Zoo. “Rob is a well-known business and philanthropic leader, and I’m confident he’ll provide the guidance the Zoo needs for continued success now and well into the future.”
As a shareholder with the Denver-based law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Kaufmann is recognized as one of the state’s top real estate attorneys and community leaders. His community service includes past and current leadership roles with the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, Colorado AIPAC Council, The Colorado Health Foundation, HealthONE, JEWISHcolorado, Jewish Community Relations Council, Congregation Emanuel and Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Foundation.
In addition to Kaufmann, the 12-member Board of Governors includes Lyne Andrich, Sean Campbell, Meredith Coors, Kelly Eisinger, Patrick E. Green, Allegra “Happy” Haynes, Sherri Koelbel, Rebecca Macsovits, Marcela de la Mar, Dr. Charles H. Scoggin and Doug Tisdale.
Pictured above: Rob Kaufmann, chair of the Denver Zoo Board of Governors (left), with Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Zoo President/CEO Bert Vescolani at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Zoo’s new animal hospital on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.