Mote Marine Laboratory is pleased to announce that Andria Piekarz accepted the position of Director of Development, effective Feb. 1, 2019.  Ms. Piekarz will apply her philanthropic leadership experience to Mote’s mission of marine science, conservation and public education.

Piekarz, most recently the Director of Philanthropy for the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, will lead major growth in fundraising efforts for Mote — an independent, nonprofit research institution — across its diverse array of more than 20 marine science programs, along with its education and outreach programs that translate scientific discoveries to benefit marine ecosystems and the public. Philanthropic giving is essential to Mote’s success, accounting for 40 percent of the funding for Mote’s Research Division in the past year and complementing the array of competitive government grants and agreements secured by Mote scientists.

“Philanthropic giving has been an essential pillar of our nonprofit Lab’s success throughout Mote’s 64-year history,” said Mote President & CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby.  “To advance Mote’s vision for a healthier ocean, and in turn, a healthier economy and quality of life, Andria will play a leadership role for increasing the support from our philanthropic relationships that is essential to grow Mote’s research and education enterprise as a whole.”

Piekarz will succeed Erin Kabinoff, who played a key role in recruiting Piekarz as head of the Development Department. Kabinoff will conclude her six years of successful service to Mote on in early 2019 in order to dedicate more time to her family.

“I am extremely confident in Andria’s experience, skill and commitment to the science-based conservation and public service that are hallmarks of Mote’s mission,” Kabinoff said. “I have no doubt that under her leadership, the level of philanthropy Mote enjoys will only grow. I look forward to facilitating her smooth transition into our Mote family and staying in close touch as the Lab’s positive impacts expand in her capable hands.”

Piekarz has served as Director of Philanthropy for the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast since 2014, fueling their mission to save land to protect waterways and watersheds. In addition to having more than 10 years of nonprofit fundraising experience in the region, Piekarz is an experienced marketing and sales executive with a strong track record of growing revenues for global entrepreneurial organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Barnard College of Columbia University. She is a member of the Human Services Advisory Council for Sarasota County, serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Chapter of Southwest Florida and has strong interests in multiple humanitarian efforts including mentoring children who face adversity.

“There is such a great sense of urgency to Mote’s mission, advancing research and growing a truly global base of support to tackle the real-world challenges facing our oceans and our planet,” Piekarz said. “I am inspired by the tremendous generosity that this community provides to this mission and am honored and excited to join the Mote team to help nurture and grow philanthropic support.”

Dr. Crosby expressed his confidence that “Andria will be instrumental in helping to strengthen Mote for our next phase of significant growth in marine research, technology development and science education impacts that are essential for addressing the grand challenges facing the continued sustainability of our oceans at home and around the world.”