1/13/15: Cathy Willis Spraetz

Cathy 2Cathy Willis Spraetz, President and CEO of Chimp Haven

Topic: Chimpanzees in Captivity: From Research to Retirement

Location: President’s Hall, The Penn Stater

Introduction / Moderator: Eric Barron / Patty Satalia

Cathy Willis Spraetz currently serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Chimp Haven, the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Keithville, Louisiana. Prior to coming to Chimp Haven, Willis Spraetz, an Atlanta native, served several nonprofit organizations in Georgia over two decades as their CEO, focusing primarily in the area of disabilities, as well as domestic violence. While the organizations she served were focused on human services, she draws many parallels to those she served in the past and the chimpanzees who now garner her love and attention.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration from Georgia State University. She is a scholarship recipient of the 2005 Harvard Business School’s Strategic Initiatives in Nonprofit Management.

Willis Spraetz serves on the NAPSA (North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance) Board of Directors. An avid animal lover, she finds it a special privilege to be chosen to lead Chimp Haven and values the ongoing opportunity to learn more about our magnificent relative, the chimpanzee, as well as to ensure they have a forever home in sanctuary. She has gained significant knowledge and insight into the overall management of chimpanzees and the history of these amazing animals in captivity.

In addition to her administrative tasks, most days you’ll find her exchanging a laugh, a pant hoot or other terms of endearment with the 163 residents who call Chimp Haven home.