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David Porter named new chair of Zoo New England Board of Directors

PorterdaveZoo New England announces today that David Porter, owner and managing partner of Baystate Financial LLC, has taken the reins as Chair of Zoo New England’s Board of Directors. Porter was voted in as Chair during Zoo New England’s June 25 Board meeting.

“I’m excited to lead the Board as Zoo New England continues to grow in membership and visitors, as well as position itself as a leader in environmental education, conservation and cutting-edge animal care and management,” said Porter, who joined the Board in 2012. “Hundreds of thousands of families, school children, tourists, and local residents visit the Franklin Park and Stone Zoos each year. The Zoos are two of the region’s leading family friendly cultural destinations, as well as important contributors to the local economy. I’m honored to be leading the Board as we work hard to fully realize the vision for these two beloved attractions.”

Porter replaces Gordon Carr, who has served on Zoo New England’s Board of Directors for the past 13 years – mostly recently as Board Chair for the past three years. Carr had a central role in shepherding Zoo New England through a major reform of its governance structure. Under Carr’s leadership, Zoo New England re-launched Zootopia, the annual fundraising gala, presented exciting new exhibits and opportunities including the seasonal Aussie Adventure in 2013, the American alligator exhibit and the Alfred Huang North American crane exhibit at Stone Zoo, and the popular Zoorassic Park exhibit in 2012 as well as the addition of a warthog exhibit and the expansive 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art playground at Franklin Park Zoo. Carr will continue to serve on the Board in the role of Immediate Past Chair.

“Delivering on our mission and inspiring tomorrow’s conservation leaders requires great vision as well as passion, creativity and commitment. We are fortunate to be working with such a dedicated Board that is committed to building on Zoo New England’s successes. Establishing relationships with other visionaries, leaders and organizations who share our mission will broaden our impact tremendously,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “We are incredibly grateful to Gordon for all that he’s done for Franklin Park and Stone Zoos, and we are looking forward to working closely with David as we continue to move the Zoos forward.”

Since 1996, Porter has been the owner and managing partner of Baystate Financial LLC, one of Massachusetts’ oldest and largest full-service financial firms. He created the Baystate Financial Charitable Foundation to increase his agency’s involvement in the local community. In addition to serving on Zoo New England’s Board of Directors, Porter, a national speaker on building financial service organizations as well as author of the book Where Winners Live, also serves on the boards of the Citi Performing Arts Center, the Boston Police Athletic League, the YMCA of Greater Boston and Elon University.

Jan Houghton, President of Stoneham Bank, was re-elected as Vice Chair of Zoo New England’s Board of Directors at the June 25 meeting and Peter Wilson, Private Trustee, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, was re-elected Board Treasurer.