Meet the NPF Team: Mo Gallo
If you’re on NPF’s email list, you’re about to meet the woman behind the messages! (And if you’re not on it yet, what are you waiting for?) Meet Mo Gallo, NPF’s Digital Engagement Manager.
What is Your Favorite National Park Memory or Experience?
Every park is my favorite park! At each park I’ve been to I’ve had memorable experiences. Like most people, I have my map and I am on a quest to check them off the list. I’ve enjoyed visiting some of the more remote parks like Dry Tortugas National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park. Dry Tortugas stands out in my mind as one of the more fun adventures that started with a long boat ride to the park, then exploring the fort from top to bottom. We enjoyed the peacefulness of the quiet park and felt like we had the island practically to ourselves. Then after a sun-drenched day, we jumped into the water to snorkel just feet off the beach. I remember it as a time that really got me excited about the parks and how different they can be.
What Projects Do You Normally Work on at NPF?
I work on NPF’s digital fundraising programs. The core of my work ranges from sending emails to raise money to preserve and protect our parks, to building digital ads, to setting up donation pages, and finding ways to thank our donors for their incredible support. Recently I have worked on building our "Friends of NPF" program for donors who set up automatic monthly gifts that help NPF build a reliable stream of income so we can plan for future projects.
What Drives You To Do This Work?
My love for parks is what brought me to the National Park Foundation, but seeing the incredible impact and the huge range of projects we work on is what gets me excited to come to work every day. I feel lucky to be able to share the importance of all of the national park sites and their stories with such a large audience. I have always enjoyed the thrill of parks and the wonder you experience at each site. I feel humbled to play a role in contributing to their continued preservation for many more generations to come and so they can have the same or better experiences I've had. My husband always tries to embarrass me whenever we visit parks by saying, “See this? You did this!” It’s cool that even my supporting role can make a difference when you add up all the efforts that everyone at NPF contributes.
How Did You Get Started in This Type of Work?
In high school, I joined the local volunteer fire department and became the first female firefighter, I knew I wanted to be in a role that could help me give back to the communities I love. That experience inspired my career in fundraising, and in each job since, I evolved and learned new skills that lead me to online fundraising. My current position involves a lot of HTML coding, which I had to teach myself through YouTube and learn by trial and error. I remember being really intimidated by it at first. Now I love it because it feels like a puzzle I have to solve each time and it's really rewarding when I do.
What is One of Your Favorite Parts of Working for NPF and What is One of the Biggest Challenges?
I love that I am constantly learning at NPF. I learn new skills and industry trends, but I am also learning new details about parks and experiences so I can communicate them in our emails. I get to learn about cool projects that NPF funds, whether a grant connects people to our parks, or improves the park grounds, or saves species.
That being said, one my biggest challenges is staying on task! It’s so easy to lose yourself in reading or researching a park that I often find myself dreaming up trips to that park that one day I hope to go on.
If You Could Create a Park Around a Current or Historical Figure or Moment, What Would It Be?
I would love to see a park created to honor Deb Haaland and this historic moment of having the first Native American woman lead the Department of the Interior. Not only would it be great to highlight her rise to this esteemed position but also to share how her heritage brings a new perspective to this role that America has never seen before. Her leadership will pave the way for more conversations about the history of native people and women in parks. She inspires me and I know more people will follow in her big footsteps.
Does Mo's national park journey remind you of your own? Help NPF continue our work to protect and preserve parks today.