As director of marketing for the ROGER WILLIAMS PARK ZOO, Diane Nahabedian is an integral part of the zoo’s team – and that role became even more exciting when the cutting-edge Faces of the Rainforest exhibit opened late last year. No matter what time of year, Nahabedian is busy promoting the zoo’s programming, from new animal acquisitions to infrastructure development. She also helps inform residents about the achievements of its sibling organization, the Rhode Island Zoological Society.
“I have the best job ever,” Diane says. “I tell the story of the greatest zoo in New England. I tell the story of the conservation work we do, the environmental education we provide to hundreds of school children, and the story of endangered animals that are vital to our ecosystem. I also work with committed professionals who are devoting their careers to the betterment of our environment.”
But that’s just part of her story. Diane earned her Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, and earned a Master’s of Science from Boston University – College of Communication. Since then, she has worked in marketing and public relations for nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years. This span includes her tenure as chief marketing and membership officer of the YMCA of Greater Providence. “Communication at this level is about more than writing press releases and getting the word out,” says Diane. “Communication helps people understand their community, and the communities around them. It’s the most important way to bridge divides.”
Diane also successfully developed a home-school curriculum for her son for 10 years, focusing on integrated arts. (He earned a degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 2016.) During that same decade, Nahabedian also served as a consultant, providing marketing, communications, and fund development strategies to organizations nationally and internationally.
“I’m proud of many aspects of my career, but mostly my ability to tell a story honestly and with feeling,” she says.