Plan Your Visit
Exhibits & Attractions
Lost and Found
Contact Us
Mission and Vision
Board of Directors
Leadership and Staff
Annual Financials
Contact Us
Zoo Animals
Alliant Bowling Fundraiser
Corporate Support
Travel with the Zoo
Get Involved
Event Calendar
About Zoo Events
Private Events and Rentals
Sponsor an Event
Adopt an Animal
Bring Bucky Home Merchandise

About PACK

The Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo’s Young Professionals, also known as "the PACK," are emerging business and community leaders from throughout the Madison area who share enthusiasm for the Henry Vilas Zoo and support the zoo through membership donations. Their mission is to promote and enhance the Henry Vilas Zoo through support of the Zoo’s events, fundraising, and community outreach, with a special focus on engaging young adults with the zoo.  

PACK leads the zoo's events geared towards young professionals, such as Will Zoo Be Mine?Be A Kid Again at the Zoo, and Brew Lights. These events raise funds for the zoo, help increase the Henry Vilas Zoo’s reach into the community, and remind the public that the zoo is a fun place not just for families, but for adults as well.

Getting Involved

The first step to getting involved with PACK is to become a member of the Henry Vilas Zoo. Membership at the Young Professionals level is $40/year and is a tax-deductible donation to the zoo.

There are two levels of involvement, PACK Leaders and PACK Members:

PACK Members
All PACK members are young adults (however you define that!) from throughout the Madison area who love the Henry Vilas Zoo. PACK Members may not have the time to be involved with PACK at a leadership level, but do want to be a part of the group by attending events and maintaining a Young Professionals level membership. PACK Members are also encouraged to volunteer at the zoo (but it is not required). To become a PACK Member, all you have to do is become a member of the Henry Vilas Zoo at the Young Professionals level. You will then be a PACK member and start receiving PACK communications such as event invitations.

PACK Leaders - The Henry Vilas Zoo's Young Professionals Board
Those who are looking to play more of a leadership role may be interested in becoming PACK Leaders. Serving as the Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo’s official Young Professionals Board, these emerging business and community leaders participate in planning meetings, attend the young adults events, and get hands-on by assisting with event ticket sales, setup, sponsorships, volunteering, marketing, etc. There is a maximum of 25 PACK Leaders. If you are interested in more information about becoming a PACK Leader, please reach out to the Friends of the Zoo staff contact for the group (Shelly Torkelson, Development Manager) at or (608)258-9490 ext. 12. 

PACK Leaders - Henry Vilas Zoo's Young Professionals Board

Brett Anderson
Performance Technical Services, Epic

Kristen Brey
Community Education Specialist, SSM Health Care

Bryce Becker
Audit Senior Manager, Grant Thornton LLP

Meena Dayal
Director of Operations, Karben4 Brewing

Chuck Delorey

Kirsten Donkle - Social Chair
Events Coordinator, Liliana's Restaurant

Elizabeth Ganser
Co-Owner, Fontana Sports

Jeff Halter
Deputy Director, Henry Vilas Zoo

Brittany Hinca - Secretary
Marketing Manager, Habush Habush and Rottier, S.C.

Samantha J. Hribar
Project Engineer, J.P. Cullen

Tracy Kreul
Senior Assistant Underwriter, CapSpecialty

Crystal Padley
Special Events Coordinator, Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo

Megan Padley - Marketing Chair
Advertising Assistant, Cleary Building Corp

Stephanie Peck
Examiner, Preferred Title

Becky Phillips
Senior Scientist, PPD

Kelsey Schaid
Executive Administrative Assistant & Marketing Coordinator, Madison Concourse Hotel

Brian Stickney
Marketing Director, Lincoln Financial Advisors

Shelly Torkelson
Development Manager, Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo

Brooke Wentland
Graphic Designer, Affiliated Engineers

Jesse James White
Chapter and Regional Relations Manager, Wisconsin Alumni Association

Cassidy Wilbourne - Activity Chair
Relationship Banker, Associated Bank

Chelsea Wilson

Eli Woyke - Corporate Outreach Chair
Attorney, Small Batch Law