Butterfly House & Aquarium development director aims to inspire conservation

July 28, 2020

This week’s Up-and-Comer is Carly Manahan, the development director at the Butterfly House & Aquarium.

Name: Carly Manahan

Age: 25

Hometown: Wheat Ridge, Colo. – a western suburb of Denver

What brought you to Sioux Falls?

I spent the past three years working in the nonprofit industry in Yankton after graduating from Mount Marty College. I have always wanted to move back to a city similar to Wheat Ridge; however, my significant other is from Mitchell, so we wanted to find something that was in the middle in terms of population size. Sioux Falls has always been our go-to for shopping and dining, even when we lived an hour away. It seemed like the ideal place to plant our roots and begin our post-college life.

What keeps you in Sioux Falls?

The Sioux Falls community is a fast-moving, motivated and passionate community. Each person I have come into contact with has a heart for their family, work and community. It is inspiring to be around others who are wanting to make a difference. I am excited to become more involved in the chamber, Young Professionals Network and Association of Fundraising Professionals. As for attractions, we moved here right before the COVID-19  pandemic so unfortunately haven’t had the opportunity to experience all that Sioux Falls has to offer yet but certainly look forward to it!

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

One of my favorite things about my job is the atmosphere. If I’m stressed, I can always go into the Butterfly House to decompress for a while or check out our aquarium exhibits. It’s a great perk to working here! I also love seeing the excitement of children – adults too! – when they get the opportunity to see our animals up close.

How did you get connected to your industry?

I have always had a passion for nonprofits. Growing up, my mother always encouraged and supported volunteerism. When I went to college, I knew I wanted to be a part of an organization that wanted to make a positive difference on the world. While working at various nonprofits, I found that my passion lies in advocating for a cause important to me through event planning and fundraising. When we had first considered moving to Sioux Falls, I looked into working at BHA because I have always loved animals. I was nervous because of my lack of science-based experience; however, in fundraising and development, one doesn’t have to be a whiz kid in science! This ultimately led me to the development director position at the Butterfly House & Aquarium.

Describe the Butterfly House & Aquarium in three words.

Passionate, inspirational, educational. Our mission is to inspire the conservation of the vital building blocks of sea, sky and land. We seek to ignite the passion in the next generation of environmental stewards.

What’s your favorite way to give back to your community?

I am very passionate about giving back to nonprofits. Whether it be monetarily, in-kind or volunteer time, nonprofits are those looking to break down barriers for those in our community. By supporting nonprofits, we are supporting our neighbors and community.

What’s one business you’d like to see in Sioux Falls that isn’t here now?

I’m not sure I have thought about this topic yet. I am still very new to the community and am excited to see what Sioux Falls already has to offer.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I look forward to having completed my CFRE – Certified Fundraising Executive – certification and to developing resources for those in the development field from various platforms. With the guidance and mentorship from others in the field, I am excited to expand my knowledge. I look forward to becoming more involved in the community and look to make a positive, lasting impact on those around me. We also have a tremendous amount of growth ahead for the Butterfly House & Aquarium – stay tuned!

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Butterfly House & Aquarium development director aims to inspire conservation

This week’s Up-and-Comer is Carly Manahan, the development director at the Butterfly House & Aquarium. 

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