Longtime Texas State Aquarium leader Tom Schmid will become the next President and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Why is this important: Schmid begins on December 6 and will be responsible for restoring public confidence in the zoo following the recent scandals.
- The zoo may soon lose its accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a distinction she has had since 1980, according to a WCMH story.
- Tom Stalf, Schmid’s predecessor, resigned in March amid allegations he personally used zoo assets, including credit cards, vehicles, homes and tickets to events.
Go back: Schmid, 58, has been running the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas, since 1999. Prior to that, he ran Nauticus, a marine science center in Norfolk, Va., And began his career at SeaWorld in Orlando, Virginia. Florida.
- Under Schmid’s leadership, the aquarium doubled in size with a $ 58 million, 71,000 square foot expansion in 2017, and a new wildlife rescue center. is now under construction.
And after: Schmid’s first priority will be to ensure that the staff “once again have confidence in the management of the zoo,” he told Axios.
- “A big part of my goal will be to regain trust in the community, both in central Ohio and in the zoo community in general,” he said.
- Eventually, the North American region of the park will likely be targeted for improvements due to obsolete habitat.
- Until December, Columbus Zoo Director Emeritus Jerry Borin, who came out of retirement after Stalf resigned, will continue to run the zoo.
The big picture: Schmid said he was hooked by the scale of the operations – the 622-acre zoo itself, plus a water park, golf course and nearly 10,000-acre conservation park, The Wilds, in the is from Columbus.
What they say : Keith Shumate, chairman of the zoo board, told board members Schmid was the right person to “help move the zoo forward.”
- Schmid’s base salary will be $ 425,000, Shumate confirmed.
During this time, a state investigation of former zoo officials, led by the charitable law section of the Ohio attorney general, is underway, along with a state audit.