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November 2012 Platy Press

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The November 2012 issue of Platy Press

Text of November 2012 Platy Press

  • Its impressive to be president of a major international manufacturing company thatemploys 1,300 people worldwide. Its evenmore impressive when youre only 34 yearsold, like Austin Ramirez, a new member ofour Platypus Circle. The Milwaukee residentbecame president and CEO of HUSCO Inter-nationala major global manufacturingcompany based in Waukesha, Wis. in July 2011. HUSCO provides hydraulic andelectrohydraulic components for automobiles

    The PlatyPress is a newsletter for members of the Platypus Circle. The Platypus Circle is composed of individuals, corporations and foundations who share our passion for supporting the Milwaukee County Zoo, conserving endangered animal species, and teaching

    the importance of preserving wildlife and its natural environment. The PlatyPress is published two to four times a year by the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM), 10005 W. Blue Mound Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53226.

    November 2012

    and off-highway applications. Originally a subsidiary of Koehring/AMCA, HUSCO International wasbought out in 1985 by Ramirezs father, Agustin, who continues to serve as executive chairman. It took Austin about 10 years at HUSCO to obtain his currentstation. He also has impressiveathletic and academic creden-tials. After graduating with adouble major from the Univer-sity of Virginia in systems engineering and economics,he earned an MBA fromStanford University in Cali-fornia. In 1998 he won agold medal for the UnitedStates in the World Aquat-ics Championships inPerth, Western Australia.His accomplishmentsearned him inclusion in the 2012 BusinessJournal of Milwaukees

    Forty Under 40 list of influentialyoung leaders. So why does he like the Milwaukee County Zoo and support the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM)?

    Like many people who grew up in southeast-ern Wisconsin, Ramirez has fond memoriesof visiting our Zoo. He remembers the unfor-gettable Samson, the Zoos most famous gorilla. He recalls riding the train. He also remembers his parents buying him Mold-A-Rama animal figuresbut only if he was onhis best behavior. Those were pretty coolfor a 6-year-old boy, he says. Perhaps

    because of his competitive swimming, Ramirezsays, I love the underwater exhibitsI mustbe part fish. I could spend hours wanderingthrough all of the aquatic exhibits at the Zoo.Ive also always loved dolphins, sharks and the fast, powerful fish.

    The Zoo is a wonderful resource for our community and a favorite of our employees,he says. We have had several great companyevents at the Zoo and, since we became Platymembers in 2012, our three HUSCO ZooPasses have become a coveted and much-utilized perk for our 500 local employees, especially during the summer months.

    Although hes a busy, globe-trotting business-man, Ramirez recently took his niece andnephew on a behind-the-scenes tour at theZoo. They had a blast feeding the giraffes and getting behind the scenes in the big cat exhibit and feeding the fish, he says. It wasfun to see how much they enjoyed the Zoo.Ramirez expects the Zoo to remain a big part ofhis life into the future. He and his wife, Heather,are expecting a baby. They look forward to enrolling the child in the ZSMs ConservationEducation classes, which start as early as age 2.Ramirez, whos on the boards of non-profitssuch as the United Performing Arts Fund andBoys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, believes in supporting groups that improve the quality of life in Milwaukee. To ensure thatthe ZSM and Zoo can continue to offer cutting-edge programs and exhibits, Ramirez joined the Platypus Circle. He thinks others should do so, too. The Zoo is an important resourcefor our community and one that we all have a responsibility to help support.

    Zoological Society of Milwaukee County

    Development Department

    1005 W. Blue Mound Road

    Milwaukee, WI 53226

    (414) 258-2333

    Please remember the Zoological Society

    in your will or estate plan.

    Jan. 24Puttin on the Ritz dinner and boxing fundraiser for the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM)*

    Feb 7The ZSMs Wines and Beers ofthe World evening fundraiser*

    March 9The ZSMs members-only tripto Chicagos Field Museum;pre-register*

    April 26Zootastic, a ZSM evening family event*

    May 23Platypus/VIP premiere of theZoos special summer exhibit; invitations will be mailed.

    June 22Zoo Ball evening fundraiser*


    Thom BrownDr. Robert DavisMary Ellen EneaKaren Peck KatzMaria Gonzalez KnavelJoe Kresl (chairman)Jack McKeithan Allen MartinDeborah MusanteJill PelisekTricia ShinnersJudy Holz StathasDave StrelitzJane Bush Wierzba


    Karen Von Rueden, Vice President of Development

    Kim Peterson, Senior Development Officer

    Georgia Young, Development Assistant


    Paula Brookmire, editorZak Mazur, writerRichard Brodzeller, Photographer (unless otherwise noted)

    On the WebFor back issues of Platy Press

    dating to September 2006, go

    *For more information, call (414) 258-2333 or go online at

    The annual Platypus Circle dinner is a way to honor majordonors to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM). Thisyears dinner, held Sept. 27 at the Milwaukee County Zoo, also marked the presentation of the ZSMs highest award, the Emu Egg. Presented since 1982 to people who havegiven outstanding service to the ZSM, the award is a realemu egg encased in glass. Katherine Hust of U.S. Cellular(pictured at left/right) received the award for consistentmeritorious service and exceptional contributions and com-mitment to the ZSM. Hust began her relationship with theZSM in 2005 by becoming a Board member and Platypusmember. She held the vital role of Zoo Ball co-chair in 2009.Zoo Ball is the ZSMs largest annual fundraiser. She has pas-sionately contributed to the ZSM education committee since2006 and has been instrumental in pioneering and nurturinga strong bond between the Zoological Society and U.S. Cellular for over nine years. Hust is U.S. Cellulars vice president of sales for the mid-central region. The 2012Platypus dinner also recognized over 50 new members this year as well as those who celebrated their 25th year of Platypus membership (see page 2). Some of the new 25-year Platypus members are pictured here.

    Platypus Recognition Dinner

    printed on recycled paper 5445J12

    Austin Ramirez

    Photo provided

    by HUSCO Intern


    Austin Ramirez: A Global View

    By Zak Mazur

    William Murgas,

    a 25-year Platypus


    Elizabeth Gjenvick, a 25-year Platypus member

    Lowell Warshawsky, a 25-year Platypus member

    Jody and Jeffrey Steren, a 25-year Platypus member

    Judy Van Till,

    a 25-year Platypus

    memberDavid and

    Bonnie Sarandos

    of Marshfield Labs,

    a 25-year Platypus


    Katherine Hust

    PlatyPress_Dec12 1/22/14 10:06 AM Page 1

  • Spiders are our friends, Sybil La Budde used to tell herdaughter, Gigi. And, to the consternation of her family, house centipedeswere a protected species, lauded as beneficial predators in the home. From her father, Samuel Graham, a pioneer in the study of forest insects,Sybil Graham La Budde learned the value of every part of an ecosystem,from bugs to trees. She put that knowledge to good use when she helpedfound the Zoological Society of Milwaukee's (ZSM's) volunteer auxiliary,Zoo Pride, in 1975. She went on to become Zoo Pride's second president and a member of the ZSM's Board of Directors. She was an early member of the Platypus Society, now called the Platypus Circle. In fact, this year she celebrated her 25th year as a Platypus member. Her support of the Zoological Society stretches back more than 60 years.

    With sadness, we note that Sybil La Budde died on July 16, 2012, at the age of 89. She and her husband, George, were dedicated to conservation, the Milwaukee County Zoo and the ZSM until the end of their lives. Georgejoined the Zoological Society in 1940, was an active Board member from1946 to 1983, was ZSM president from 1954 to 1956, led a fundraising campaign for the Zoos move to Blue Mound Rd., and was still an honoraryZSM director when he died in 1990. Sybil stayed in Zoo Pride until the early1990s and continued attending Platypus events until a few years ago. Lastspring she called the ZSM office to note how much she enjoyed the Aprilissue of the ZSMs Alive magazine. Her obituary mentioned her many volunteer hours at the Zoo. I remember when I was in graduate school,

    A Lifetime Conservationist

    shed be trundling off to the Zoo in her khaki outfit and giving tours, recallsGigi La Budde, of Spring Green. She says her mom, who after graduatingfrom the University of Michigan worked as a corporate trainer for IBM for many years, brought strong organizational skills to Zoo Pride.

    Rachel Jones, a charter member of Zoo Pride and also a Platypus member,describes Sybil La Buddes tireless efforts. She wrote the first training mate-rials for Zoo Pride. There were no computers or Internet back then. Shehand-wrote the materials, and I would take them to work and type them up after hours. There were quite a lot of pages. Things were very detailed,even down to the anatomy of an animals bones. We did the whole Zoo. La Budde also wrote all the original animal fact sheets for the ZSMs Sponsor an Animal program.

    Sybil and George La Budde, who drove a Porsche with license plates readingZOO 1, went on the first African safari that the Zoo offered, in 1982, led bythen Zoo Director Gil Boese. In 1986, on our first trip in Zimbabwe, Sybilwent but George did not, Dr. Boese recalls. [This was just six years afterZimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, had won its independence from the UnitedKingdom.] Sybil gave us a ver

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