10 Things About Susan Frost Ahlering & John Ryan Ahlering and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance


“Success follows happiness, which follows gratitude.”

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA) is committed to saving species worldwide by uniting their expertise in animal care and conservation science with their dedication to inspiring passion for nature. “Ocelots” are donors and volunteers who enthusiastically support the mission of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance through active involvement and a commitment to education and fund-raising. “Ocelots” act as well-informed ambassadors throughout the community, helping to promote San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s excellent work and goals for the future. Susan (Dulie) Frost Ahlering and Dr. John Ryan Ahlering (through the “Ocelots”) were instrumental in starting Ritz Gala in 1984. Dr. Ahlering was founding President of the “Ocelots.” The first Gala Event featured Tony Bennett and was called “Cats in Concert.”

#1 Susan Frost Ahlering is a 4th Generation San Diego Native. John Ryan Ahlering Graduated from UCSD Medical School after childhood in Los Angeles.


#2 We enjoy visiting the South Shore of Kauai.


#3 Something on our bucket list is to cruise around Great Britain and the Norwegian Fjords. We would also like to take an African Photo Safari.


#4 For 5 generations, our family has been a central contributor to San Diego’s growth and development. Giving Back is in our blood.


#5 George Gildred, former President of SDZWA, has always supported and mentored us. His life has been an exceptional beacon of light to John in his Medical Career and to Dulie in her Community Activities.

#6 We returned to San Diego from the San Francisco Bay Area in 1980 to start our family. The Zoo was a large part of our family and civic life as our 5 children spent many hours there. We started this fundraiser with our fellow “Ocelots”, who to this day provide countless hours and many dollars to the preservation of our environment and its myriad creatures. Dulie and I are honored to act as the Co-Chairs of this 40th Anniversary RITZ Gala.


#7 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is dedicated to collaborative conservation programs that safeguard and restore biodiversity, engage communities, foster human-wildlife coexistence, reintroduce wildlife into native habitats, contribute to ecosystem restoration and health, mitigate disease, preserve genetic resources and inspire change through education and outreach.


#8 Through its joint efforts with a global network of renowned conservation partners, San Diego Wildlife Alliance envisions a world where all life thrives.


#9 To date, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has helped reintroduce more than 44 endangered species into native habitats, many of which were born at the Zoo, the Safari Park or one of the five conservation stations the Alliance manages.


#10 The funds raised from the RITZ GALA will go towards “The Denny Sanford Elephant Valley Habitat” at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
Saturday, June 17, 2023
6:30 – 11:30 p.m.
San Diego Zoo

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Kamran Saeed