Happy Hollow Foundation Hires Leadership San Jose Alum As New Executive Director

Amy Pizarro Happy Hollow Foundation leadership san jose

The Happy Hollow Foundation Board of Directors is excited to announce that Amy Pizarro will be the new executive director helping lead the nonprofit into the next phase of its growth.

“After an extensive search, we are thrilled that Amy will be taking the reins of Happy Hollow Foundation,” said Chris del Pilar, board president and member of the search committee. “The Foundation is poised for success, and we can't think of anyone better to take us to the next level.”

A marketing expert with an extensive knowledge of Silicon Valley’s nonprofit scene, Pizarro brings a wealth of experience to the Foundation, which supports San Jose’s iconic park and zoo.

A former editor at the San Jose Mercury News, she transitioned into the nonprofit sector as public relations director at Presentation High School before taking her most recent role as Senior Director of Media and Community at The Tech Museum of Innovation.

At The Tech, Pizarro created a new magazine for the museum’s community of members and supporters; helped reinvent the website for the Silicon Valley landmark; and applied her relentlessly positive attitude toward the successful launch of six new exhibitions in the past three years.

A graduate of the SVO Foundation’s Leadership San Jose program, Pizarro is also the founder of the Pad Party, an annual event for Silicon Valley women to donate feminine hygiene products that are distributed by HomeFirst Services to shelters, encampments and other homeless service organizations. Last October, the event — which in 2016 was featured on NBC Bay Area’s “Bay Area Proud” — received donations of 62,000 pads and tampons for homeless women in Santa Clara County.

Along with her husband and two children, Pizarro has been a huge fan of Happy Hollow Park & Zoo since its relaunch in 2010.

“Having experienced firsthand the tremendous joy Happy Hollow can bring to the lives of families in Silicon Valley, I’m excited to be given the opportunity to make this San Jose gem even better for our visitors — whether they’ve been fans for decades or are meeting us for the first time,” Pizarro said. “Besides, where else in San Jose can you say you actually work with a jaguar?”


Happy Hollow Foundation (HHF) is a non-profit organization, established in 1958 and dedicated to advocating, supporting and enhancing the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo. The focus of Happy Hollow Foundation is to engage individual donors, foundations, corporations, and government agencies in helping to advance the park & zoo.

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo has received many awards and high-fives, including:

  • A five-year accreditation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums
  • A winner of the Sustainable Built Environment, Acterra Business

Environmental Awards

  • First gold LEED-certified amusement park and zoo in the United States
  • Collected more donations for Jeans for Giraffes than all the larger institutions in our area