It has been a difficult few weeks for anyone who works in zoos as they have made headlines in the UK and Europe and not for the right reasons, as questions are inevitably asked about whether there is still a need to keep animals in captivity for the public’s entertainment.
Dr Sharon Redrobe says, ”From where I stand, the reality is that zoos like Twycross are living sanctuaries, playing a vital role in conservation, as many species across the world face an extinction crisis in the wild. By providing a symbolic “ark”, not only do zoos take care of endangered animals, but they participate in carefully coordinated, international breeding programmes. This vital work ensures that there are genetically healthy, self-sustaining populations, to provide the potential to rewild these species in the future. Surely that’s a legacy we owe to our children and to the generations to come?
“Research is also a key element of what we do – not only to ensure the highest standards of welfare, but to build our knowledge and understanding of animal biology and ecology. We strive to provide an environment that closely mirrors natural habitats, so that the animals in our care enjoy a life as close to the wild as possible, whether that is through intelligent enclosure design or enrichment activities, aimed at encouraging ‘wild behaviour’ – in a good way!
“Many people will not realise that Twycross Zoo also contributes to conservation in the wild and over the last decade has supported over 55 conservation and welfare projects in many different countries around the world, from safeguarding chimpanzees through our Ape Action Africa in Cameroon to the Cao Vit Conservation Programmes with Orang utans in Vietnam.
“Lastly zoos also play a vital role in education and public engagement, raising awareness about the threats wildlife face in the wild and highlighting what each of us can do to help. Modern technology allows us to view wildlife and habitats on our iPhones and TV screens, without setting foot outside the house, but this is simply not the same as seeing a real animal up close and in the flesh. Few of us will ever have the opportunity to encounter animals in the wild, zoos provide that truly thrilling and inspiring experience.
“The bottom line is that we need to protect, invest and support good zoos if we want the natural world to survive to face the future.”
On the 20th anniversary of the Enterprising Women Awards, organised by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Sharon Redrobe has been honoured with the prestigious ‘Inspirational Woman of the year’ award, which recognises the achievements of local business women whose journey will motivate and inspire. Pictured is Claire Oldham, Director of Discovery & Learning at Twycross Zoo, who collected the award on Dr. Sharon Redrobe’s behalf.
Dr Sharon Redrobe says, “Having been recognised by one of the most important business bodies in our region is a great honour. I am flattered to think that my journey can inspire more women and wildlife enthusiasts to take on a challenge and do their best to fulfil their dreams. I am lucky to have a very supportive family and friends and also my wonderful colleagues who are all part of the reason I have been chosen to receive this award.”
Dr. Sharon Redrobe OBE spoke at Virgin Care about her journey so far, from starting out as a vet to becoming a multi-million pound CEO of Twycross Zoo. She also spoke on her role models, management skills, gender equality and transforming a 50 year-old zoo. See the video here:
Dr Sharon Redrobe has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2017, for her services to Skills, Science and the Economy in Leicestershire.
Dr Sharon Redrobe, said: “I am delighted and humbled by this unexpected honour. Ever since I started working at Twycross Zoo, I was inspired by the great legacy of the Zoo’s co-founders Ms Nathalie Evans and Ms Molly Badham, who herself was appointed OBE. The job of the CEO of Twycross Zoo is certainly challenging, but my belief in the role modern zoos must play in conservation keeps me focused on moving forward to help save our precious wildlife. I hope this honour will help increase awareness of the good work we do at Twycross Zoo to protect endangered species and habitats.”
Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE will be speaking at quarterly Business Breakfast organised by the Kenilworth Chamber of Trade. In this breakfast meeting you get the chance to listen Dr Sharon Redrobe who is CEO at Twycross Zoo. It also a great opportunity to mingle with other local businesses. The meeting will be held on the 30th September 7am – 9am at the Holiday Inn in Kenilworth. Book your tickets here
Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE guided Alison Rose, CEO guided Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest’s Commercial & Private Banking on a tour of recent developments at the zoo, some of which have been funded by a loan from the bank.
Sharon has been recognised for her work by the Institute of Directors (IoD) West Midlands, winning Director of the Year in the not- for- profit category. Sharon stood out for her leadership at Twycross Zoo, driving a £55m transformation that has, in part led to a 6% increase in visitor numbers in 2015.
Commenting on the award, Dr Redrobe said: “It is an honour to be recognised by the Institute of Directors with this award. Being CEO of Twycross Zoo is a challenging role, particularly as we pursue our £55million redevelopment programme to realise our ambition of becoming a leading visitor attraction and world-class zoo. I’m delighted that I am running a charity successfully that is recognised as a ‘proper’ business sector.”
The Awards took place on Tuesday 14 June 2016. Sharon will now also be nominated in the national IoD Awards.
It has been announced, Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE is a finalist in the Institute of Directors (IoD) West Midlands Director of the Year Awards in recognition of her leadership of Twycross Zoo.
Dr Redrobe is currently leading a £55 million transformation at the zoo which will establish it as one of the UK’s leading visitor attractions. Since the launch of the Giraffe Savannah in 2015 and Gibbon Forest earlier this year, the zoo has seen a 6% increase in total visitor numbers.
Dr Sharon Redrobe, said: “I am delighted to be nominated for the Director of the Year Award. It is a privilege to lead the zoo’s remarkable team of enthusiastic and talented staff and supportive Board of Trustees. It’s an exciting time at Twycross Zoo, as our Masterplan will deliver new developments and benefits for both the animals we care for, as well as the visitors who come to see them.”
Commenting on the nomination, Calum Nisbet, Regional Director, IoD West Midlands Region said: “It’s a great achievement to reach the shortlist as we have had a tremendous response this year and whittling entrants down has been a tall order for the judging panel. All regional winners will be put forward for consideration to the national IoD judging panel for the national awards, where we hope they can fly the flag for the West Midlands!”
The regional awards breakfast will take place on Tuesday 14 June 2016 at Edgbaston Stadium, the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, and will be compered by media personality Professor Carl Chinn MBE.
The very first annual Woman Who… Awards lunch took place on 15th of April 2016 at the Coombe Abbey Hotel in Warwickshire. The awards recognise Women in Business ranging from start up through to established women in business and rising stars who are still in training towards a successful career.
In this year’s event Sharon was not only a judge but was also a keynote speaker. Her inspiring speech tackled gender equality issues but also addressed the great work she has done for Twycross Zoo over the past 3 years.