News Release

September 18, 2014

                   Contact: Sondra Katzen
                                  Public Relations

Chicago Zoological Society to Honor Recipients of Its 2015 Conservation Leadership Awards
     Brookfield, Ill. – The Chicago Zoological Society, which operates Brookfield Zoo, will honor three recipients for their dedicated commitment to conservation and animal welfare at its 12th annual Conservation Leadership Awards Dinner on September 30. This year’s award winners are Dr. George Archibald, co-founder and senior conservationist of International Crane Foundation; Susan Regenstein and The Regenstein Foundation, long-time supporters of Brookfield Zoo and the Society; and the Forest Preserves of Cook County, a steward in the preservation of Cook County’s natural resources. The evening celebration will benefit the Society’s conservation and education initiatives and will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

“In 2015, we are pleased to honor some of the top conservationists working to save species and habitats through an array of methodologies,” said Stuart D. Strahl, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Society. “This year’s winners deserve all the credit we can give them. They continue to make important inroads, all while inspiring current and future conservationists. They truly embody our mission of making connections among people and wildlife.”

The George B. Rabb Conservation Medal will be presented to Dr. George Archibald, for his efforts in cultivating and transforming the preservation of rare crane species and their habitats. Archibald, an award-winning conservationist, is known around the world as a leading scientific authority on cranes and achieves ways to unite people from diverse cultures and countries to work together to preserve the landscapes necessary for the survival of both the species and people. In 1973 when cranes were on the brink of extinction, Archibald, along with Cornell University colleague, Ronald Sauey, Ph.D., co-founded the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, Wisconsin, as the world center for the study and preservation of cranes. Today, ICF supports conservation projects for the world’s 15 species of cranes in 45 countries.

The Corwith Hamill Lifetime Achievement Conservation Award will be presented to Susan Regenstein and The Regenstein Foundation. The Regenstein Family has a long and distinguished partnership with the Chicago Zoological Society. Several members of the family were governing members of the Society in the early 1920s and one was a founding trustee on the board of directors. The Society was fortunate to have the support of Joe Regenstein, Susan’s late father, whose contributions led to the opening of the The Swamp exhibit in 1994. Additionally, it was his inspired vision that guided the development and opening in 2014 of Regenstein Wolf Woods, which is home to a family of endangered Mexican gray wolves, a species that is part of a recovery program managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Cook County Forest Preserves President Toni Preckwinke will accept the Edith Rockefellar McCormick Partnership Award on behalf of the organization for its commitment to protect and preserve the County’s natural environments that include prairies, forests, wetlands, rivers, streams, and other landscapes as well as all of its wildlife inhabitants. Celebrating its centennial this year, the Cook County Forest Preserves is the largest forest preserves district in the United States with more than 69,000 acres. More than 40 million people visit its preserves each year to enjoy the wildlife and the abundance of outdoor recreational and educational opportunities that it offers, including hiking, fishing, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, canoeing and kayaking, birding, photography, and reflection. The land that Brookfield Zoo resides on was donated in 1919 to the County by Edith Rockefeller McCormick and since then the relationship between it and the Chicago Zoological Society has been one of the most successful of its kind.

The evening fundraiser begins with an hour-long reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner and award presentations. Tickets are $500 per person and tables of 10 or 20 are also available. For more information about the Chicago Zoological Society’s Conservation Leadership Awards Dinner and to make reservations, call 312-553-2000.
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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The Chicago Zoological Society inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for Brookfield Zoo's innovative, naturalistic, multispecies exhibits, and for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Director of Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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