Public Relations Specialist
Tom Gillespie’s duties as Public Relations Specialist for the N.C. Zoo include working with the media, writing news releases, arranging interviews with Zoo staff and conducting tours for the media and other special guests. He also writes a feature column, "Zoo Tales," that appears in about 25 newspapers and magazines across the state.
Tom has more than 30 years experience as a writer, photographer, magazine editor, newspaper reporter, instructor (journalism & photography) and freelance magazine writer. He worked briefly as Marketing Manager for Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown before joining the Zoo staff in 1998. Prior to that Tom served 16 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as a photographer, journalist, videographer, media-relations specialist, and public affairs specialist & manager. Also while in the Coast Guard, he received a scholarship to attend Syracuse University, where he received his B.S. degree in Journalism.
Tom’s articles and photographs have appeared in regional, national and international magazines and newspapers, including Time, The New York Times, National Review, USAToday, all major wire services, most major East Coast newspapers, international magazines in Germany (Stern), Greece (ENA), Great Britain and on national & international websites. His awards have included the "Weinberger Award," presented to federal employees "for excellence in photography;" two Joint Service Commendation Awards, for both his work as a military instructor and for his work during the Gulf War; and the Coast Guard Commendation Award, for "outstanding contributions in Coast Guard journalism & public affairs."
To contact Tom Gillespie:
1.800.488.0444 or 336-879-7202
North Carolina Zoo
4401 Zoo Parkway
Asheboro, North Carolina