Zoo hires in two new senior staff positions

Thursday, May 13, 2021
Jessica Hart

Jessica Hart

Pete Bolenbaugh

Pete Bolenbaugh

Pete Bolenbaugh has always had a knack for fundraising. Whether it was door to door fundraising early in his career, cultivating large gifts as the Director of Major Gifts at Rocky Mountain College, or drumming up fun as the Executive Director of Wise Wonders in Billings, Bolenbaugh knows how to make raising money fun. He will now call ZooMontana home, where he was hired to be the organizations first official Development Director.

The hiring is the result of a $195,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Washington. The staffing grant will be used to cover start-up costs including salary, office space and work materials, such as phones and computers. Funding of the position will continue on a declining basis over three years, before the Zoo assumes full responsibility of the position. Bolenbaugh will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all of ZooMontana’s fundraising, including the major gifts program, annual fund, planned giving, and capital campaigns.

ZooMontana Executive Director Jeff Ewelt is excited about the hire. “The hiring of Pete is the result of a nationwide search. Sometimes the treasure is in your own backyard,” said Ewelt. “Thanks to the incredible generosity and understanding of our cause, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust made this hiring goal possible. Their commitment to nonprofits throughout the region, and Pacific Northwest, will allow ZooMontana to attain goals that were once unreachable”, added Ewelt.

The hiring of Bolenbaugh is just one of two senior staff position recently filled at ZooMontana. The Zoo also hired Jessica Hart as the Community Relations Director. Hart came to ZooMontana from the Billings Chamber of Commerce, where she planned and implemented Special Events. Hart’s role at ZooMontana includes Special Event planning and implementation, sponsorships and community relations.

About ZooMontana

ZooMontana is an AZA accredited, nonprofit 501 (c) (3) educational organization committed to the best in animal care, conservation and wildlife education. As Montana’s only Zoological and Botanical Park, ZooMontana is dedicated to wildlife education and conservation. The Zoo is located at 2100 S. Shiloh Rd. off the Zoo Drive exit of Interstate 90 and is open every day at 10 a.m. Find the Zoo on the web at zoomontana.org and on Facebook.


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