John DeFillipo

Vice President of Development, Executive Director at John Bunker Sands Wetland Center in Seagoville, TX

John DeFillipo, Director of the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, is an engaging naturalist with over 20 years of experience blending ecological concepts with business insights.   After receiving his BS degree in Business Administration in 1992 from the Mississippi University for Women, he pursued a naturalist career with two nature centers in the southeastern United States; Camp McDowell Environmental Education Center in Alabama and Crow’s Neck Environmental Education Center in Mississippi.  In 2002, John refined his focus as an Outreach Educator with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science where he presented endangered species programs, including live Alligators.  While living in Mississippi, John served as the president of the Mississippi Environmental Education Alliance and was the recipient of the 2008 Environmental Educator of the Year Award.

John moved to Dallas in late 2008 to accept the Lead Natural Science Educator position with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science before becoming the Director of the Wetland Center in March 2010.  In August 2015, John received the New Outstanding Leader Award from the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) where he currently serves as VP of Development.      

Through his leadership skills and enduring passion of man’s stewardship of the Earth, he has guided the Wetland Center to become a premier example of environmental education with a strong focus on habitat and water conservation, public education, partnerships, and wetland research. 

The Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) has been our Center's anchor since the beginning stages of development. As a new director, I had many important and timely decisions that only other nature center administrators could relate to and understand. At the suggestion of a close friend, I attended my first ANCA summit in 2008 and found a very passionate, insightful and inspiring group of administrators that have been advising our Center the past several years. My advisors quickly became my friends, confidants, and mentors creating a mutual partnership that will last throughout my career.

ANCA's collective expertise and advice on fundraising, programming, exhibits, marketing, human resources and board development, has helped us create a modern nature center for the 21st century. They can you help steady the ship through rough seas, give direction in unchartered waters and help guide your nature center to a successful future. Anchor your organization in the best practices of the nature center profession by becoming an ANCA member today!