LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Entertainment industry icon Betty White, celebrated as much for her commitment to animal welfare as for her show business accomplishments and acumen, has been named chairman of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), succeeding the late Tom Mankiewicz, announced GLAZA President Connie Morgan.
White's work with the Zoo spans 46 years. She began serving as a GLAZA Trustee in the early 1970s, was a multi-year member of the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, and was named “Ambassador to the Animals of the City of Los Angeles” by Mayor Villaraigosa in 2006. In June of this year, she was honored by more than 1,000 guests at GLAZA's 40th Annual Beastly Ball which raised $1,202,049 for the Zoo. During a March 2010 CNN interview, White mentioned "her 46-year partnership with the Los Angeles Zoo, calling it one of her two loves in life alongside show business."
"Betty's many exceptional qualities make her an ideal leader for GLAZA," said Morgan. "Her deep understanding and passion and for the Los Angeles Zoo, her close relationship with its animals and Zoo and GLAZA people, her advocacy in general for animals that share our earth, and her sharp business sense blend perfectly to guide our organization, particularly as GLAZA works toward a public-private partnership with the City of Los Angeles in order to make the Zoo’s operation more financially independent."
According to White, whose seven-decade career continues to flourish, "I'm enormously honored to take on this role, especially being able to follow in the footsteps of our beloved Tom. Of everything I do, animal well-being is my most important role, and that's why I've worked with the Zoo and other animal organizations for so long."
Mankiewicz, who had served as GLAZA chairman since 2002, passed away in early August.
For more than four decades, the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association has successfully supported the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. GLAZA funds Los Angeles Zoo exhibits, plant and animal species conservation, capital projects, and education and community outreach programs. There are currently 72,000 GLAZA member households, the largest membership base of a cultural organization in Los Angeles, and it boasts a volunteer corps of over 700. The Los Angeles Zoo is a major cultural and entertainment resource for Southern California, a place of beauty and inspiration and a catalyst for discovery of the natural world for children of all ages.
Betty White at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association Beastly Ball in June 2010
Photo Credit: Jamie Pham