New director of development at National Aviary


Des Wienand Pic

Photo courtesy of Robin Weber
Desiree Wienand is from Pittsburgh, but previously worked and lived in Southern California and Hawaii.


By Alyse Horn

On November 1, 2013 the National Aviary welcomed Desiree Wienand to the team as the new director of development.

As director of development at the aviary, Wienand said her main focus is to generate income outside of admissions and retail.

Wienand said this involves coordinating fundraisers and handling the memberships to the aviary.

One fundraiser that Wienand is in charge of is Adopt-a-Bird. Ranging from $25 to $300, a person can adopt a bird at the aviary for themselves or as a gift. With the $300 donation one can even have a personal encounter with their bird of choice, but this is limited to only the African Penguin, American Flamingo, Lanner Falcon and the Scarlett Macaw. Besides these four birds, there are 17 other birds that can be adopted and one two-toed sloth named Wookiee.

Another fundraiser is Night in the Tropics, and will be held on July 12. Wienand said this is one of the most popular events the aviary holds, and all of the proceeds from these events go towards protecting and preserving the bird’s wellbeing.

Membership fees are also used for the aviary’s upkeep, and Wienand said it works similar to other museum memberships. Wienand said there around about 10 member only events through the year, and can get into popular events early before anyone else along with year long free admission to the aviary.

Membership or not, Wienand encourages community members to stop by and say hello.

“I would love to meet as many people as possible here in the Northside and get them involved with what we’re doing,” Wienand said.

The revenue that Wienand creates is used to take care of more than 500 birds that call the aviary home. Combined, the birds food, supplies and medical tweetment cost just above $700,000 a year. The aviary has its own hospital on site that needs $400,000 alone to function adequately.

Previously, Wienand was the vice president of development for Mid and Small Markets at the American Heart Association in Pittsburgh. Before, she was regional vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Southern California and Hawaii.

Director of Marketing and Communications Robin Weber said that Wienand has raised over $25 million in corporate and individual gifts through her 13 year non-profit career.

More information on the aviary and its events can be found at

Northside Chronicle Donation