2021 Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award
Goes to Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D.

Safety National, The Trio Foundation of St. Louis
and Kevin Beckmann also honored with Zoo Awards

(Nov. 19, 2021, St. Louis, Mo) The Saint Louis Zoo announced its 2021 Conservation Award and three other Saint Louis Zoo Awards at its 30th Annual Marlin Perkins Society Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. The Marlin Perkins Society has grown from 48 to more than 1,250 members over the past 30 years and has generated nearly $35 million in revenue — all to help fund Zoo operations.

Conservation Award

The Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award was presented to Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D. Dr. Bonner was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Louis Zoo in April 2002. In 2009, his position was endowed by the Dana Brown Charitable Trust. From 1993 to 2002, he served as President and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens. Before that, from 1987 to 1993, he was Vice President for Research and Special Projects at the Saint Louis Science Center, where he supervised long-range planning of exhibits and associated programming. He began his work at the Science Center in 1983 as Director of Exhibits and Programs.

Dr. Bonner retires at the end of 2021 after leading the organization for nearly two decades. Significant achievements under Dr. Bonner's leadership include the launch of Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute — the wildlife conservation arm of the Zoo — in 2004 through a generous $19 million commitment from the Zoo Friends Association (now the Saint Louis Zoo Association); the establishment of Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine in 2011; and acquisition of a 425-acre property in north St. Louis County, named the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Park, in 2018. WildCare Park will be home to conservation breeding programs and wildlife adventures for the public to enjoy and connect with nature and animals.

Dr. Bonner serves on numerous boards, including the Conservation Planning Specialist Group, BioSTL Coalition, Higher Education Channel TV, Forest Park Forever, St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Academy of Science of St. Louis. He is the former chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Amphibian Ark, the International Species Information System, and the Madagascar Flora and Fauna Group. He is a member of The Explorers Club, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Academy of Science, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Individual Award

The Saint Louis Zoo Individual Award was presented to Kevin Beckmann, a generous philanthropist who focuses his giving on animal conservation, health and wellness, educational institutions and youth-focused organizations in the St. Louis region. He is a leading supporter of the Zoo, as well as the Endangered Wolf Center and the World Bird Sanctuary. Beckmann has been actively involved with the Zoo for a number years and has made significant charitable contributions to a number of recent projects, including Judy and Jerry Kent Family Sea Lion Sound, McDonnell Polar Bear Point, Centene Grizzly Ridge and Michael and Quirsis Riney Primate Canopy Trails.

He is recognized at the Kevin Beckmann Cheetah Savanna in River's Edge, and he endowed the Kevin Beckmann Curator of Carnivores position at the Zoo. His other charitable interests include support of the mobile medical and dental clinics caring for residents in Missouri under the supervision of Catholic Charities, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf and the Today/Tomorrow Educational Foundation.

Corporate Award

The Saint Louis Zoo Corporate Award was presented to Safety National. For over 75 years, the Safety National team has built relationships with their clients to provide long-term specialty insurance solutions for the future. To celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2015, Safety National provided a $500,000 gift for the grizzly bear exhibit recognized at Palisades Overlook at Centene Grizzly Ridge. Safety National has been a member of the Marlin Perkins Society for nearly a decade, most recently at the Steward's Circle level, and has helped underwrite fundraising events like ZOOFARI and A Zoo Ado. Equally important, Safety National staff have volunteered their time and expertise to committees, task forces and the Association Board of Directors. Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer Angela Schaefer has been involved with the Zoo for over 13 years and was co-chair of the successful 2021 ZOOFARI presented by Wells Fargo. 

Foundation Award

The Trio Foundation of St. Louis received the Saint Louis Zoo Foundation Award. The Trio Foundation was founded in 1990 by Dorothy Ross Moog with the intention of involving her three grown children in common philanthropic endeavors. She also felt strongly about sharing the success that she and her husband, Hubert "Hub" C. Moog, achieved through Hub's leadership at Moog Industries, an automotive manufacturing business. Since its first gift in 1992, the Foundation has consistently sought to assist the Zoo in its capital, conservation and educational endeavors. The Foundation has given generously to the Zoo, including providing enrichment for animals at Michael and Quirsis Riney Primate Canopy Trails, and is recognized at Orangutan Falls in Donn and Marilyn Lipton Fragile Forest and the Resting Rock at Judy and Jerry Kent Family Sea Lion Sound. Grants to the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute Center for Conservation in Madagascar and scholarships for Camp KangaZoo and educational programming round out the Foundation's wide-ranging involvement with the Zoo.

About the Awards

The Individual, Corporate and Foundation Awards are presented by the Saint Louis Zoo Association to honor those Zoo supporters and advocates whose commitments exceed expectations in contributing both time and resources to the Zoo.

The Saint Louis Zoo Conservation Award is presented by the St. Louis Zoological Park Subdistrict Commission to recognize the achievements of someone who has contributed to the understanding and appreciation of wildlife throughout his or her lifetime.