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Meet the friendly ZOOfriends Staff
Director of Community Engagement
Matt Burkholder is the Director of Community Engagement with responsibility geared toward continuing the success of the many exciting functions OZS offers. He is a graduate of Casady School in northwest Oklahoma City and Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri where he earned his degree in History Education while playing fullback for the football team before returning back to Oklahoma to pursue a career in youth development, coaching football and basketball.
With a brief stop as a Landman in Oklahoma City’s oil and gas sector, Matt began to immerse himself in the community, specifically with not-for-profit organizations. He served on multiple boards, including the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Foundation’s young professional board, the iBoard (Innovative Board). His involvement was vital to the success of their fundraising events where he served as both sponsorship chair as well as co-chairing their signature event in 2015. With success as a community fundraiser he realigned his career to serve as the Director of Development for a youth organization in northeast Oklahoma City, where he oversaw all events, marketing, and fundraising efforts.
Since arriving at the Oklahoma Zoological Society, Matt has creatively increased event attendance, sponsorship revenue and set the standard for special events at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Additionally, Matt oversees the young professional group, ZOOtroop, which has seen an increase in member participation under his direction.
Currently, Matt serves on the Leadership Council for the St. Crispin's Episcopal Summer Camp & Conference Center, is an active member of St. Augustine Episcopal Church and is a recent graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Class XII. Matt’s interests are Thunder Basketball, discovering new grilling techniques in his backyard and spending time with his wife, Hillary and their son Benjamin, born in August of 2017.