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Quiz: How Many Zoo Directorships In the USA Have Changed Hands in 2021?

Discussion in 'United States' started by Zooplantman, 7 Oct 2021.

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  1. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    It almost seems like musical chairs if you watch the comings and goings of zoo directors this year: who retired or resigned and who was tapped to replace them.
    How many can you name? (Extra credit for naming Zoo, Departing Director, In-coming Director, facility In-Coming Director came from)
     
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  2. Neil chace

    Neil chace Well-Known Member

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    Columbus Zoo- CEO Resigned, New CEO from Texas State Aquarium.
    Pittsburgh Zoo- Director Retired, replaced with Dr. Jeremy Goodman from RWPZ.
    Lincoln Park Zoo- President Retired, replaced with Internal Hire.
    Saint Louis Zoo- Director Retired, replaced with Director from San Diego Zoo.
    San Diego Zoo, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Texas State Aquarium- these three facilities have had directors leave for other jobs but have not named a replacement yet.

    There's almost certainly more I don't know, but these are the seven I'm aware of.
     
  3. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    Brookfield, Oregon, Milwaukee and Detroit are also going through Director/CEO transitions. I was just thinking about the how many major American zoos are getting new management this year and it has been shocking to see so many new faces take these positions all within the same general timeframe. I look forward to seeing what comes out of this next wave of zoo leadership.

    On mobile right now so once I get laptop access I’ll find some time to list specifics
     
  4. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Great start. Indeed there are more
    No idea who these retiring zoo directors are?
     
  5. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    No changes in my state of Arizona as far as I know.
     
  6. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    Here is a master list of all of the major American zoos that have seen a change in director or CEO in 2021. I don't think we've ever seen such a mass replacement of directors and CEOs all within the same general time, at least definitely not at this caliber.

    Brookfield Zoo - CEO Stuart Strahl will retire by the end of the year; replacement is TBD.
    Columbus Zoo - CEO Tom Stalf resigned; replaced by Tom Schmid from Texas State Aquarium (where he was CEO).
    Detroit Zoo - Director Ron Kagan retired; replaced by Haley Murphy from Zoo Atlanta (where she was Deputy Director).
    Lincoln Park Zoo - President Kevin Bell retired; replaced by Meghan Ross who was an Internal Hire (she was previously Director).
    Louisville Zoo - Director John Walczak retired; replaced by Daniel Maloney from Jacksonville Zoo (where he was Director of Animal Care and Wellness).
    Milwaukee County Zoo - Director Chuck Wikenhauser retired; replaced by Amos Morris from Fresno Chaffe Zoo (where he was Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer).
    Oregon Zoo - Director Don Moore retired; replaced by Heidi Rahn who was an Internal Hire (she was previously Bond Program Director).
    Pittsburgh Zoo - Director Barbara Baker retired, replaced by Jeremy Goodman from Roger Williams Park Zoo (where he was Director).
    Roger Williams Park Zoo - Director Jeremy Goodman went to Pittsburgh, replacement is TBD.
    Saint Louis Zoo - Director Jeffery Bonner Retired, replaced by Dwight Scott from San Diego Zoo (where he was Director).
    San Diego Zoo - Director Dwight Scott went to Saint Louis; replacement is TBD.
    Texas State Aquarium - CEO Tom Stalf went to Columbus; replacement is TBD.
    Zoo Miami - Director Carol Kruse retired; replaced by William Elgar from Georgia Aquarium (where he was Director).
     
  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I was working on my list at the exact same time as @pachyderm pro...great minds think alike! A few of these occurred in late 2020, but the game of director musical chairs has been going strong for the past 12 months.

    ABQ BioPark - Stephanie Stowell replacing Baird Fleming (resigned) - late 2020

    Adventure Aquarium - Molly Deese replacing Vince Nicoletti (new position at aquarium)

    Aquarium of the Pacific
    - Peter Kareiva replacing Jerry Schubel (retired) - late 2020

    Brookfield Zoo
    - unknown replacing Stuart Strahl (retired)

    Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - Neal Thurman replacing Stewart Clark (new position at zoo)

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium - unknown replacing Frank Dame (stepping down because of cancer treatment)

    Columbus Zoo - Tom Schmid replacing Tom Stalf (resigned)

    Detroit Zoo
    - Hayley Murphy replacing Ron Kagan (retired)

    Fort Wayne Zoo - Rick Schuiteman replacing Jim Anderson (retired)

    Fresno Chaffee Zoo - Jon Forrest Dohlin replacing Scott Barton (retired)

    Great Plains Zoo - Rebeka (Becky) Dewitz replacing Elizabeth Whealy (resigned) - 2020

    Kansas City Zoo - unknown replacing Randy Wisthoff (retired)

    Lincoln Park Zoo - Megan Ross replacing Kevin Bell (retired)

    Louisville Zoo - Daniel Maloney replacing John Walczak (retired)

    Milwaukee County Zoo - Amos Morris replacing Chuck Wikenhauser (retired)

    New York Aquarium - unknown replacing Jon Forrest Dohlin (gone to Fresno Chaffee Zoo)

    Oakland Zoo - Nik Dehejia replacing Joel Parrott (retired)

    Oregon Zoo
    - Heidi Rahn is replacing Don Moore (retired)

    Pittsburgh Zoo - Jeremy Goodman replacing Barbara Baker (retired)

    Riverbanks Zoo - Tommy Stringfellow replacing Palmer "Satch" Krantz (retired) - 2020

    Roger Williams Park Zoo - unknown replacing Jeremy Goodman (gone to Pittsburgh Zoo)

    Roosevelt Park Zoo - Jeff Bullock replacing Rebeka (Becky) Dewitz (gone to Great Plains Zoo)

    Saint Louis Zoo - Dwight Scott replacing Jeffrey Bonner (will be an advisor and then retire)

    San Diego Zoo - unknown replacing Dwight Scott (gone to Saint Louis Zoo)

    Texas State Aquarium - unknown replacing Tom Schmid (gone to Columbus Zoo)

    Tulsa Zoo - Lindsay Hutchison replacing Terrie Correll (retired) - late 2020

    Zoo Miami - William Elgar replacing Carol Kruse (retired)
     
    Last edited: 8 Oct 2021
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  8. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Wow, well done!
    One wonders whether the direction of AZA will be affected by such a large in-coming class of new leaders
     
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  9. Tim Brown

    Tim Brown Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that one of the above zoos bought the Top 100 book as a leaving present after a member of staff raved over it...they had it on express delivery too - which cost a good deal more than the book!
     
  10. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if there are any patterns between all these directors. How many are resigning to move and work at another zoo vs. how many are retiring vs. how many are moving to jobs in a different field altogether?
     
  11. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Well, @snowleopard's post clearly shows which vacancies are the result of the director leaving to take the lead at another zoo. This is how one moves one's career along in the zoo world.
    As to the rest, most of these people are too active by nature and too young to simply go fishing every day. I expect that many will soon pop up with new undertakings in conservation or consulting.
     
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  12. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It was announced today that Dr. Michael Adkesson is the new President and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society and Director of Brookfield Zoo.
     
  13. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  14. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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