This spring Laura J. Kay joined our team as GWC’s new outreach and events director. Laura will be working on our major fundraising events, benefits and third-party events that we hold throughout the year to support our conservation mission and engage with our supporters. We spoke to Laura about what she loves about her job and her passion for GWC’s mission.
Q. How did you develop your passion for wildlife conservation?
A. I was born an animal advocate and lover of the outdoors. I grew up on a family farm in the Texas Panhandle and my earliest memories are of roaming the fields with my trusty dog and rowdy barn cat. My first spoken word was “horse.” That was a good indicator, as I later began raising and showing Arabian horses.
I had always planned on becoming a veterinarian, but life lead me in a different direction and I ended up with a business degree. I still wanted to find a way to be involved with animals. That lead me to a job at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. I started out managing their nature store and then driving a jeep for their safari camp program tours. I would listen to the naturalists discuss endangered species, their loss of habitat, etc. Then giraffes would gather around our jeep and it was magic — I was hooked!
Q. What will your primary role be in supporting wildlife conservation at GWC?
A. I am the outreach and events director so I oversee GWC’s major fundraising events, benefits and third-party events. I also work with corporations that support GWC projects and initiatives. I hope to feature wildlife and wildlands conservation at every event. GWC events are the perfect setting to share our mission, our passion and our dedication to the planet. Maya Angelou said, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I want our event guests to “feel” our mission and its importance to the world. I want our events to make our guests to “feel” so excited about supporting wildlife conservation at GWC that they become life-long donors, ambassadors and volunteers.
Q. What drew you to GWC’s mission?
A. I was drawn to GWC because of their determination to conserve the planet’s most threatened areas and species. Especially their focus on the importance of biodiversity and helping all wildlife, especially those who are not as well known. Also, the GWC Team is phenomenal! I wanted to be part of this group.
Q. What do you love most about the work that you do?
A. I love knowing that what I am doing is making a difference in the lives of so many animals. That brings me great joy. It’s what I believe I was put on this earth to do. I also love introducing GWC to someone new and seeing them get excited about ways they can help. Researching foods, music and event venues is great fun too!
Q. What is your favorite wildlife species?
A. Oh goodness, that is a very difficult question. Wild cats, wolves and giraffes have been my long-time favorites. My favorite wild cats include tigers, Fishing Cats, Black-footed Cats, Cheetahs, Lynx and Pallas’s cats. Mexican Grey Wolves and Maned Wolves are wonderful too! And the graceful beauty of the Giraffe. They will always be special to me. I cannot choose just one!