Sandi Dornhecker

Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Sandi Dornhecker is an experienced Human Resources leader with over 25 years’ of HR experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. She has a passion for animals and conservation, which led her to her dream job at Brookfield Zoo Chicago.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from National Louis University and has completed graduate work towards an M.B.A. degree in Human Resources. Sandi directs the human resources function for the Chicago Zoological Society for a workforce of roughly 345 full-time and several hundred seasonal and part-time employees. She is responsible for strategic HR planning; recruitment, placement, and orientation; compensation and benefits; employee and labor relations; policy development and interpretation; Human Resource Information Systems; staff training and development; legal compliance; organizational development and change management.

Prior to her work at Brookfield Zoo Chicago, she worked as the Director of Human Resources for the Illinois Cancer Center, a non-profit cancer research consortium of university medical centers, teaching schools, and hospitals in Illinois. She has also held various other management and administrative positions in the corporate sector earlier in her career.

She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Society for Young American Professionals, and she has been listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who since 1998. She received the Kelly Award of Excellence, among other awards. In 2000, she co-founded the Chicago Metropolitan HR Cultural Group, a professional group of top HR officers and professionals representing major Chicagoland cultural and non-profit organizations. She has consulted for a variety of organizations and served as a presenter and trainer for colleges and community and professional groups.