Rizzo's Reptile Discovery Team

Dominic Rizzo, Owner and Wildlife Educator

Dominic has been passionate about nature since he was 3 years old. Growing up with a river in the back yard and the Morris canal around the corner he had plenty of opportunities to learn about nature. Reading and studying about reptiles became his passion. Now, that passion educates and entertains thousands of children through out the tri-state area. After years of volunteering for the state Dominic and his wife Shannon started Rizzo's Reptile Discovery LLC. Dominic is a herpetoculturalist who has spent a number of years involved in research studies and volunteer programs in NJ.

Here is a glimpse into the experience Dominic Rizzo brings to your program:

  • NJ DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife: Herp Atlas Program:
  • Surveyed and gathered information regarding reptiles and amphibian populations
  • NJ State Organized Vernal Pond Project:
  • Assisted in documenting vernal pools
    Surveyed for existing wildlife dependant on vernal pools
  • Assistant to Senior Zoologist:
  • Surveyed threatened and endangered species
    Constructed fencing in cooperation with NJ agricultural farmers to survey the endangered bog turtle.
  • NJ DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife: Endangered & Nongame Species Program - Member
  • Wildlife Conservation Corps - Member
  • Boy Scout Clean Up in Mt. Olive, NJ - Volunteer

Dominic has presented at the following venues:

  • Upper Delaware Wildlife Heritage Festival
  • Pequest Trout Hatchery & Natural Resource Education Center
  • Morris Museum
  • Sussex County Fair - Lead reptile presenter since 2004
  • Super Pet Expo - Lead reptile presenter since 2003
  • Herpetological judge for Chester 4-H

Shannon Rizzo, Owner

Shannon Rizzo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She graduated from Rutgers University with her Masters in Social Work and has been working in the field since 2001. She helps Dominic behind the scenes with the ever developing reptile business. She has been able to give Dominic and his team a wealth of knowledge given her experience with the special needs population.

Miss Marcy, Educator

Marcy McKelvie owns her own business, M2 Pro Motions in addition to representing Rizzo's Reptile Discovery, LLC. Miss Marcy entertains children of all ages at all venues, specializing in our after school programs. Miss Marcy is also an avid fisherman, growing up on the edge of the Barnegat Bay the estuaries are truly her sanctuary.

Education, memberships, and interests:

  • Rutgers University graduate and a certified elementary school teacher since 2003.
  • Member of Girl Scouts of the USA, program director and naturalist for six years.
  • Observation of the migration patterns of sub-alpine beasts in the Wyoming wilderness including big horn sheep, bison, moose and elk.
  • Monitored the endangered creatures of the rain forest and explored South America in search of poison dart frogs and the three toed sloth.

Jeff Barnes

Jeff Barnes is our brother in-law who holds a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from Monmouth University. He has worked with children in that capacity in the past and currently works in the field as a sheriff's officer. He is a great storyteller, who in person, looks larger than life. Because of his busy schedule as a sheriff's officer Jeff is not able to give many presentations, but when he does the kids have a great time.

Meet the Family

Rizzo's Reptile Discovery is very fortunate to have family and friends that work so hard to make our shows a success. Many people have volunteered their time to make this business a success. This is to acknowledge how much we appreciate there hard work and dedication to this business and to our family.

Joseph Rizzo

You guessed it, Dominic's dad. He is the up most person to thank for getting Dominic interested in passionate about wildlife from an early age. Growing up in the city, Joe wanted to move out to the county to give Dominic a nature lover's life style. Till this day, they still go out for walks in the woods.

Nancy Caufield, Office Manager

Shannon and Erinn's mom extraordinaire! Nancy actually volunteers to feed animals while Dominic and Shannon are away. You may hear her answer the phone every once in awhile too. Along with Dominic she takes care of the everyday workings of the business.

Rena Rizzo-McMunn

Rena, Dominic's mom is actually deathly afraid of snakes but her son had a love of reptiles so she did not let her fear get in his way. She has supported him all the way!

Richard C. Caufield

Richard is Shannon and Erinn's dad who always encouraged them to be adventurous without fear of a challenge. When her parents took them to Disney World as children it was Shannon who was encouraged to volunteer to hold a boa constrictor!

Erinn Barnes

Shannon's sister Erinn, also has her masters in social work graduating from Yeshiva Universty. Erinn supervises volunteers who advocate for children in the foster care system. There is no loss of compassion, patience, and understanding that has given Rizzo's Reptile Discovery, LLC the advantage. Erinn helps with program development and the organization of the business.

Barbara Cherari, Marketing and Sales Representative

Barbara is the mother of two boys. She advertises our product line to all venues.