(12 Total References)
Lessons On Capacity Building from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Christine Jurzykowski, the majority owner and, in recent years, chief manager of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas (90 miles southwest of Dallas), hired the Center three years ago to come in and simply teach the staff Holistic Management®.
Christine saw Holistic Management® as a way to develop Fossil Rim into a successful corporation while helping it live closer to its values, which include a respect for all life and a conviction that being a company that produces profit while restoring and preserving animals and habitat is possible.
In essence, Christine hired us to build Fossil Rim's capacity (environmentally, socially, and economically).
husband had transformed their 2,800 acres from the previous owner's private facility into a for-profit venture that now brings more than 100,000 people a year to view 1,100 endangered and exotic animals as well as several native species.
But, high season for tourists descended upon us, and Christine
began a nine-month exploration into possibly selling the operation or finding additional ownership partners.
decided to re-engage the Center with the possibility that the staff, with Center help, would eventually take over management and allow her
to step out of the day-to-day manager's role.
After lots of reflection and evaluation, Christine
and I realized that there are a number of things we could have done better to achieve a higher level of trust among all of us and in Holistic Management®.
We could have prepared people for the new COO by opening up discussions and encouraging everyone to identify and voice for themselves how this was likely to alter their decision-making.
And finally, we could have more clearly defined the role of Christine, the COO, the Center, department directors, and each staff person.
There are some things we have done well in laying the groundwork for building greater capacity among all of us.
has been absolutely committed to building consistency in decision-making and behavior and to approaching challenges from a standpoint of what serves the whole.
We have also worked very hard to keep the decision-making as consistent as possible despite changing players - who may or may not have had any experience in Holistic Management®.
We have made sure that proposals for new programs put forward by any department are all run through the same process for consideration and that changes from the financial plan are made by the same decision-makers who created the financial plan in the first place.
Additionally, we have continually stressed that the authority to do something comes with the willingness and requirement to be responsible for it - a key to any staff's capacity for sound decision-making.
Each year that we have produced operational profit, we have allocated a share to those who produced it (the staff), some for reserve for the upcoming year, and, this last year only, a portion to Christine
as repayment on a short-term note.
Well, we've just completed the first phase of a three-year strategic plan, and Christine
and the staff are enjoying better relationships with each other.
There is evidence that the staff and Christine
have increased capacity to make their collective vision a reality.
In the last two years, Christine
, the staff (varying from 50 to 70 people depending on the season), and I have made some significant progress.
Animal Ambassadors InternationalÂ® - Tellington TTouch Trainingâ„¢
Christine Jurzykowski, founder of Fossil Rim Wild Life Center, and a dear friend, is on our Animal Ambassador Board of Directors.
Whilst at Fossil Rim in February, working with two of their young and very wild cheetahs, I mentioned to Christine that I intended to go to Jordan and Syria and, hopefully back to Israel in April.
was to speak at a conference in Denmark the day before my scheduled departure from Frankfurt, so it seemed natural to have her
The same night I had a dream and it reminded me of sacred animal funerary rites. I am haunted by the stories of elephants mourning their dead. And I am haunted by this story told to me by Christine Jurzykowski, Director of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center of a vigil of giraffes, circling and circling the old one among them who is dying: viii
He knew I knew he would die soon - I knew he knew too.
viii "Dance With a Giraffe," by Christine Jurzykowski
, Intimate Nature: Womenís Bond with Animals, Fawcett Columbine, pp.
393-396, Christine Jurzykowski is Director and Chairman of the Board, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose, Texas
ix Old English Dictionary 1950 A. Huxley Themes & Variations 259
State of the World Forum
Founder, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Christine Jurzykowski, is Fossil Rim Wildlife Center's President and Chair of the Board.
Since 1987, Fossil Rim
has become one of the United States most progressive and renowned wildlife conservation and education centres.
is a private corporation with Jurzykowski
as majority owner.
In order to ensure its continued success and involvement in the community, Jurzykowski
is trying to restructure the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
as a combined for-profit/not-for-profit organisation.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Article about Fossil Rim
PERC Up Your Day - The Primary Source Online
Christine Jurzykowski, owner of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, realized that without outside capital, Fossil Rim would be forced to close.By applying business strategies to conservation, Jurzykowski turned Fossil Rim into a tourist center offering guided nature tours, educational programs, a scenic drive, a safari camp, rustic cabins, and seasonal events.In 1997, Fossil Rim attracted over 120,000 tourists.Putting the proceeds toward breeding programs, Jurzykowski has seen over ninety cheetah cubs born and has given amnesty to eight endangered rhinos.