Last month, I had the privilege of representing AWF for the second time at the annual Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) Expo at the Mission Bay Conference Center of UCSF. Each year, the event features around 20 of the world’s greatest wildlife conservationists who, over the course of the day, share their experiences working to protect the world’s most endangered animals.
I spent the sunny and warm October day—a rarity for San Francisco—in good company with fellow conservation organizations including AWF partners, WildAid and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Outside the conference center, tables lined a bustling walkway, each covered with enticing reading materials and the occasional selection of animal-themed swag. An energetic mix of conservation enthusiasts and supporters drifted from table to table, learning about each organization’s important work as they progressed. Having recently returned from a trip to East Africa where I got to see firsthand the incredible depth of AWF’s projects throughout Africa, I really enjoyed interacting with the crowd and conveying my passion for our mission. Over the course of the day, a handful of our dedicated major donors and two of our amazing trustees stopped by the AWF table to say hello and show their support. Their excitement for the Expo’s buzz of activity and roster of powerful speakers was palpable and demonstrated their genuine commitment to conservation.
At the end of the day, I had the opportunity to check out the final presentation of the day, featuring Dr. James Sanderson of the Small Cat Conservation Alliance, John Lukas of the Okapi Conservation Project, Dr. Colleen Begg of the Niassa Lion Project, and former AWF Charlotte Fellow, (and current AWF partner) Shivani Bhalla, of Ewaso Lions. It was inspiring to hear from these phenomenal icons in the conservation field, and wonderful to see an AWF grantee featured in this way. Shivani was incredible!
AWF attends the WCN Expo every year. The event is typically held in October, so if you happen to be in the Bay Area next fall, stop on by the AWF table and learn a little more about our conservation initiatives across the continent.
In addition to her role as a Major Gifts Officer for AWF, Amy Rizzotto is a food and fitness loving blogger, yoga and Pilates instructor, and nutrition coach based in Washington, DC. Amy's passion is looking at the space where yoga and nutrition fuse for optimal athletic performance and overall mind/body wellness. MOARfit serves as her platform for sharing words of motivation, tasty recipes for health, and workout tips. You can learn more about what she's up to by liking her Facebook page, MOARfit, and following her on Twitter, @MOARfit.
AWF Blogs bring you to the African Heartlands, where conservation benefits both wildlife and people alike. The blogs are written by our staff - men and women who have dedicated their lives to Africa's wildlife, people and wild lands.