Meet the Membership Team

Janet Grogan and familySeveral of my fondest memories as a little girl growing up in Chicago include the natural beauty and underwater wonderment I experienced as a child exploring Shedd Aquarium. My mother and I would spend the afternoon navigating the iconic galleries and exotic pools of what seemed to include other-worldly creatures before setting up a picnic alongside the building's lakeside grounds where we would talk about the amazing animals just encountered. I'd eat my sandwich in between "Did you see...?" bursts of excitement before walking hand-in-hand back to the train that would carry us away from the day's adventure -  Neptune's trident atop Shedd's ocean wave-lined rooftop fading in the distance.

Both my mother and grandmother used to talk to me at an early age about how it is our collective responsibility to carry on what those who came before us helped pave the way to provide - and that included being a part of sustaining and creating new opportunities for those who would come after us. That is exactly what your support as a Member of Shedd Aquarium does for the animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild. Your individual and collective support helps ensure that thousands of the same species you are able to see and connect with today will be preserved and protected for generations to come. 

I'm Janet Grogan and I proudly work to support the animal welfare, conservation and education initiatives that are at the core of who we are at Shedd. As Vice President of Membership, Individual and Major Gifts, I work day-in and day-out to ensure our programs are supported by the personal passion and generosity only made possible through Shedd's biggest advocates and storytellers - our Members like you. 

This year, and every year, we’re introducing new benefits for our Members such as unique events, first-look emails and tips for making your visit exclusive. These benefits are our way of showing you how much your donation means to Shedd and the mission our staff is dedicated to fulfilling every day.

This small glimpse into my Shedd story begins with the opportunities Shedd provides families to create quality, bonding and learning time together. For you, it may be an interest in deepwater marine life or a love for the local preserves as part of Lake Michigan's vast backyard. No matter how the chapter begins, I'd love to hear from you on why Shedd holds a special place in your heart. What is your Shedd story? 

My husband and I continue the legacy of building Shedd family memories today with our son. He loves to walk up to the exhibits - particularly watching the colorful fish of Amazon Rising's floor-to-ceiling windows or listening to the loud barks of one of the rescued residents that make the Grainger Sea Lion Cove of the Abbott Oceanarium their splashy home. If you see little finger prints on the underwater viewing windows of our great white beluga whales, they're probably his! 

I hope you'll join us by leaving your mark on Shedd Aquarium too for years to come. Thank you for your continued support.

Janet Grogan
Vice President of Membership, Individual and Major Gifts
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NicoleAs a Chicago transplant from small-town Kansas, Shedd Aquarium was one of the first institutions I chose to visit upon my arrival. The stately building nestled onto the water’s edge of Lake Michigan clearly sets the tone for a memorable experience, and as a person with a natural affinity towards water, it was a must-see.

Growing up, my family owned a small speed boat and every summer was spent on one lake or another, exploring all it had to offer. It is from those excursions that I began to form a lifelong appreciation for all of earth’s creatures and a dedication to the preservation of them and their natural habitats.

The work that Shedd is dedicated to doing, whether it be through our day-to-day exceptional animal care, through our fantastic Great Lakes research, or through the exciting new work of the Microbiome Project – it all expands well past our four walls. It is profound, necessary and vital for the protection and conservation of our aquatic residents and their counterparts in the wild. Choosing to be a member of this iconic institution ensures the success of these programs and those to come. As a member, you are contributing to our mission and creating great memories in return. Your donation is important, valued and makes a true impact. Don’t believe me? Visit Shedd and I will show you our 32,000 reasons.

Nicole Eubanks
Assistant Director, Member and Donor Operations
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Anthony VasquezLike many Chicago residents, Shedd has been a favorite destination of mine since I was a child.  I remember the excitement and anticipation of knowing a field trip or family outing would bring me through the doors of the aquarium.  Once inside, it was hard to not be captivated by the aquatic life found at Shedd.  Each day when I arrive at work here, I still feel the same sense of wonder that I did as a child.  

As a kid, I was impressed by the aquarium without even knowing what it was beyond being a great place to visit and how it provided an opportunity to see fascinating animals.  Now,  as an adult, my affinity for the World’s Aquarium has continued to grow exponentially.  Having discovered the global conservation efforts and the many educational initiatives that are sponsored by Shedd, I can appreciate the aquarium and its work on a much deeper level.  To work here, and to be a part of such an important mission, is a dream come true for both the adult and child in me. 

As a member, you too are part of that mission.  None of the amazing work Shedd accomplishes would be possible without your crucial support.  I look around every day and see how Shedd Members make a difference.  Not the least of which is in the eyes of children, many of whom I envision going on to become marine mammal trainers, aquarists, or perhaps even conservation experts themselves.  As the Coordinator of the Membership program here at Shedd, I thank you for your generosity and assistance in helping to inspire a new generation of children through your membership.    

Anthony Vasquez
Membership Coordinator