New Executive Director Named

Sherri Belfield         
Vice Chair, Board of Directors
(704) 208-7339

For immediate release

Carolina Raptor Center names new Executive Director

Charlotte, NC (30 August 2022) – The Carolina Raptor Center announces Erin Katzner as its new Executive Director. Katzner will oversee the direction and strategy of the CRC’s work to ignite imaginations and inspire engagement in the natural world through the exploration and rehabilitation of birds of prey.

“We could not be more excited for Erin to join our flock!” said Kristy Crist, chair of the Carolina Raptor Center Board of Directors.  “We feel fortunate to have found a leader for the Carolina Raptor Center who cares so deeply about raptors, our natural world, and the people who inhabit it. Erin’s rich experience across numerous environmental organizations and various aspects of non-profit management uniquely equip her to lead the team to new heights. As we look to grow and expand the impact of Carolina Raptor Center, the board has full confidence that Erin will lead us there.”

Katzner, who will begin her duties officially on September 8, 2022, comes to the Carolina Raptor Center after eight years at the renowned international raptor conservation organization, The Peregrine Fund in Boise, Idaho, where she spearheaded the education, marketing, communications, and outreach programs as the Vice President of Outreach and Education. Her career also includes work at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio, the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia in Morgantown, West Virginia, and serving as President of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators. 

“I am thrilled by this opportunity to work with the staff, board, and volunteers of the Carolina Raptor Center,” Katzner said. “CRC has long been a valuable education and conservation resource for the greater Charlotte community, and I look forward to working with partners and stakeholders throughout the region to provide exciting new opportunities to connect nose-to-beak with some of nature’s most inspiring creatures – raptors! CRC is already a unique facility, and the team and I are excited about the growth opportunities that lie ahead. We’re ready to soar!” 

Chris Parish, President and CEO of The Peregrine Fund, adds, “Adjusting to change is a cornerstone for survival for all species, including our own, and this wonderful opportunity for Erin is another win for raptors. We look forward to continuing to work with Erin and the Carolina Raptor Center.”

Carolina Raptor Center was founded in 1981 to provide rehabilitation services for injured birds of prey. Today, the CRC is home to over 70 ambassador birds that inspire the more than 20,000 guests each year. Programs explore STEAM concepts through the lens of raptor ecology and conservation. CRC continues to rehabilitate sick and injured raptors, admitting over 800 birds a year. Approximately 60% of the raptors admitted to the hospital, which survive the first 24 hours, are released back into the wild. Carolina Raptor Center has partnered with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation to build a new, state-of-the-art nature center called Quest.