The Oklahoma Zoological Society announces the hiring of Mandy Heaps as executive director.
She joins OZS with over 17 years of fundraising and nonprofit programming experience, including major gifts, capital and annual giving campaigns.
Heaps hails from Osprey, Florida, and has found her home over the last two decades in Oklahoma City.
She graduated with a BA in mass communication from Oklahoma City University, where she served as student body president. She also earned her MA in journalism and mass communication from the University of Oklahoma.
She had positions at Public Strategies Inc., the Central Oklahoma Humane Society and the United Way of Central of Oklahoma. She has been senior director and team lead for the Oklahoma State Foundation, where she operated in development.
Heaps has long been a contributing member of her community, serving in a variety of volunteer capacities, including Junior League of Oklahoma City, where she serves as past president.
She is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL Class III and has served for the Association for Women in Communications, as well as chapter advisor for the Alpha Phi sorority at Oklahoma City University, where she was awarded the Greek Advisor of the Year award in 2018.
Heaps has been recognized by the Oklahoma City Friday paper as one of the city’s rising stars, as well as one of the 50 Most Powerful Young Professionals for two consecutive years.
Heaps and her husband, Rob Vera, are longtime northeast Oklahoma City residents and have two cats, Vicki Vale and Archie. When not roaming around the Oklahoma City Zoo grounds or attending a zoo event, she enjoys spending time relaxing and connecting with friends and family.
OZS was created in 1954 to support and promote the Oklahoma City Zoo and its four purposes of education, conservation, zoological research and recreation.
OZS works to accomplish these important objectives through membership sales, fundraising initiatives and capital campaigns. A group of community volunteers lead OZS as members of the board of directors.