Senior Vice President and Board Liaison
A relationship leader specializing in the development, cultivation and engagement of key institutional stakeholders, Jennifer Baryl works closely with members of the board of trustees, who guide Shedd Aquarium’s long-term strategic direction and provide high-level counsel to staff leaders.
Baryl also works closely with Shedd’s president/CEO to support strategic planning and implementation of board operations. Responsible for building strong relationships between board members and executive staff, Baryl supports Nominating Committee tracking and recommendations, new member orientations, individual member and committee guidance, board/staff partnerships and bylaws requirements monitoring in coordination with Shedd’s CFO. In addition, Baryl serves as a critical link for the board to receive current information about aquarium initiatives and events, overseeing a variety of communications channels and creating opportunities for trustees to engage in open dialogue with senior staff.
Baryl has nearly 20 years of experience managing Shedd's high-profile events and board of trustee fundraising activities, including initiating the annual gala. Her ongoing involvement with the gala committee and development program has contributed to the marquee event’s success; in 2012, the gala raised more than $1 million for Shedd’s animal care, conservation, education and guest experience programs. She also has extensive experience in all aspects of development, including managing direct mail, donor travel, events strategy and planning, solicitation and major gift cultivation.
Before coming to Shedd in 1995, Baryl worked in development at Lyric Opera of Chicago, renowned internationally for its artistic excellence and financial strength. She currently serves on the board of SitStayRead, which uses trained volunteers and certified dogs to improve reading fluency, make reading fun and inspire Chicago children ages 7 to 9 to become lifelong readers. Baryl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social science from Saint Mary’s University of Winona, Minnesota.