Jim Fouts, Chairman
Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Jim Fouts, ZAA Chairrman

Jim Fouts has been in the zoo industry since 1972 and was working in zoos until 1977, when he decided to go out on his own. Starting in 1978, he began importing birds and animals from all over the world for zoological collections, and in 1985, he opened bird import stations in Los Angeles. Ever since 1980, he worked throughout Africa supplying birds and animals to zoos around the world. In 1985, he began developing a holding/breeding compound in Goddard, Kan. Jim is currently the director of Tanganyika Wildlife Park.


Michael Fouraker, Vice Chair
Fort Worth Zoo

Michael FourakerMike inadvertently began his career in 1971 in concessions at the Chilhowie Park Zoo before it became the Knoxville Zoo. In addition to working a side job transporting exotic animals (and race horses), he served in many roles at the Knoxville Zoo, including keeper, marine animal trainer, associate director, and finally interim zoo director before leaving to accept the position of animal programs director at the Fort Worth Zoo in 1993. Mike's experience with carnivores led to conservation field work in India with Asiatic lions, wolves in North America, and lions and cheetahs in Africa. Today he is still active in the field with Caribbean species and habitat conservation with a focus on head starting and reintroduction programs.  Mike currently serves on the board of the International Elephant and Rhino Foundations (IEF & IRF), The Caribbean Wildlife (CWA) and Turtle Survival (TSA) Alliances, and the IUCN Iguana Specialists Group. Past appointments include the IUCN Conservation Breeding Group, the UNESCO Scientific Advisory Committee and the Aquarium and Zoo Associations board of directors, among others. Mike became the executive director of the Fort Worth Zoo in 2001, and is proud to see the zoo continually named in the top five and 10 zoos in nation by various publications, including Zagat's Family Travel Guide.


Matt Oldenburg, Treasurer
Zoosiana

Matt Oldenburg, ZAA TreasurerMatt Oldenburg represents a younger generation in the zoological community.  Born and raised in south Louisiana, he co-manages his family’s zoo.  Matt holds a BS in Environmental Biology and a BSM in Marketing and Management, both from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.  His more than 10 years of zoo experience landed him the role of Assistant Director with his family’s Zoosiana – a home to more than 125 species and 750 animals.  Matt’s ongoing zoo practice and young perspective bring a fresh approach to ZAA.  He takes an active role in the organization and has most notably served in the following capacities: founding member of the Code of Ethics Committee (2009-2010), Conference Committee Chairman and then Vice Chairman (2010-2012), and Accreditation Committee Inspector (2010-current).  The ZAA delegation elected Matt to the Board of Directors in 2010 and the Board appointed him to the Office of Secretary in 2012.  Matt has a long-term commitment to ZAA.  At home, he is dedicated to leadership and community engagement and is a frequent featured speaker at various local organizations.  He lives in Lafayette, LA.

Dr. Eric Trager, Secretary
Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo

Eric Trager

Dr. Eric Trager is originally from the Greater Boston area; he was then raised in both Southern California and Dallas, Texas. Currently, Eric is a dedicated leader and successful entrepreneur who resides in Plano, Texas.  Eric has diverse business interests from specialty and general contracting, to founding and operating pain and wellness chiropractic clinics (5 of them) and urgent care medical clinics (8 of them). These and similar business endeavors have allowed Eric the means to make his primary interest in exotic animal propagation and conservation a priority.  In 2006, Eric bought the severely run-down 3 acre Snake Farm in New Braunfels, Texas with a goal and keen eye to turn it around. Today, Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo, a 20 acre park is a ZAA accredited facility.  In addition to being a successful business executive and zoo owner, Eric is very much involved with political issues, negotiating appropriate regulations for exotic animal owners across the county. Eric raises funds to support favorable legislation, consults people in their states on how to network and work within the system for the purpose of creating the relationships needed, such that when legislation is brought up, they are aware and have friends in the right places.

 

Dr. Barbara Baker
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Dr. Barbara BakerDr. Barbara Baker is President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, a role she has held for 26 years. From that position, she leads one of the nation’s major zoological parks of 77 acres with an animal collection of over 6,000 animals, and the International Conservation Center, a 950-acre facility dedicated to the breeding of African elephants and other threatened species. In the past 25 years, the Pittsburgh Zoo has excelled in all areas of its operation. The Zoo’s budget has grown from $3 million to $17 million, the Zoo is the most visited cultural attraction in Pittsburgh with over a million visitors, and education programs reach more than 300,000 students annually. The number of endangered species has increased from five to 52 species. The Zoo’s conservation efforts include internationally recognized programs in coral propagation, African elephants, Amur tigers and leopards, and a conservation fund that supports 165 projects in 78 countries and five oceans. Dr. Baker’s overriding management philosophies include: “what’s the best thing for the animal?” “what’s the best thing for the Zoo?” and “how can we help?” These guiding principles have led the Zoo to assist animal caretakers all over the world, such as the rescue of elephants from Botswana, sea turtles, an elephant seal and sea otter from the west coast, and coral from Mexico. Dr. Baker has an ideal combination of management and scientific training, as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a MBA, majoring in marketing. A strong advocate for children, she and her husband are adoptive parents with seven children.

 

Dr. Peter Brewer
Southwick's Zoo

Peter BrewerPeter Brewer has been a general curator since 1974, working at both small and medium-sized zoos. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA in 1998. He currently is the staff veterinarian and general curator at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, MA, which features over 500 animals and 150 species.


Dr. Pat Condy
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Pat CondyDr. Patrick Condy is a veteran of wildlife conservation efforts. Born and raised in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, he grew up in the wildlife management and conservation business. Dr. Condy holds a B.Sc. in Animal Science, an M.Sc. in Natural Resource Ecology and a D.Sc. in Zoology. He worked for the National Parks and Wildlife Department of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in the early 1970s, moved to South Africa where for 6 years he conducted research on seals and whales in the Antarctic before becoming the director of scientific research in the South African Antarctic Program for 10 years. He also did wildlife consultancy for a major 1980s trend by South African cattle ranchers converting to game ranching. From 1992 to 2000 he was director of the Johannesburg zoo during which he led its privatization process from a city to a non-profit operated facility. He and his family came to the USA in 2001, when he worked as Program Dean for The School for Field Studies associated with Boston University. Executive Director of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (FRWC) since 2003, he presides over its business, conservation, and education operations. Dr. Condy played a key role in the 2008 donation to Fossil Rim of the 1,700 acres of the land on which it operates. He is working to increase FRWC’s engagement with and contributions to wildlife conservation globally and to strengthen its key role in the tourism economy of the local community in Somervell County and the city of Glen Rose, Texas. Dr. Condy was honored with Honorary Life memberships of the Zoological Society of South Africa and the Wildlife Management Association of Southern Africa. He helped found and served many years on the board of the Pan African Zoo and Aquarium Association (PAAZAB). He served as scientific advisor on the South African delegation to the Antarctic Treaty system, and as national representative on the International Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. Dr. Condy has authored many scientific publications and co-authored a number of books on the ecology and conservation of the Antarctic. He lives in Glen Rose, TX.

 

Judy Domaszek
Wildwood Wildlife Park

Judy DomaszekJudy Domaszek is the owner and director of Wildwood Wildlife Park in Minocqua, Wisconsin. Judy and her husband purchased the zoo in 1997, which has grown from 55 acres to 269 acres. Judy grew up on a farm in central Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, majoring in Special Education, and later pursued a masters in Wildlife Ecology.  Wildwood Wildlife Park became accredited with ZAA in 2008 and reaccredited in 2013. Judy became a professional member of ZAA in 2010 and has served on the accreditation committee for the past 8 years. Judy is very active with legislative issues in Wisconsin and at the Federal level.

 

 

Kayte Hogan
ZooWorld

Kayte Hogan

Kayte Hogan is an 18 year veteran in the zoological industry and has experience in both the private and public sectors. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Organismal Biology. Her career began at Busch Gardens-Tampa where she worked her way through the ranks from guest services to animal care. Continuing her career, she sought out a variety of positions at several zoos, gaining experiences that run the gamut from grounds keeper to curator. Settling in Florida, Kayte held the position of director at Gulf Breeze Zoo during its transformation period in 2010. These experiences prepared her for her current and most fulfilling endeavor as the Co-Owner/Chief Executive Officer of ZooWorld Zoological Park in Panama City Beach, Florida. Kayte and her family acquired ZooWorld in 2014 and have increased attendance by 100% each year and have just completed the first phase in a major zoo wide renovation plan. ZooWorld is a five acre park that is home to over 250 animals, specializing in interactive exhibits and experiences.

 

Holly Hunt
African Safari Wildlife Park

Holly Hunt

I have been with International Animal Exchange (IAE) since birth. IAE is a family affair. I am now the President of the company founded by my Father, Brian Hunt, and Uncles in 1960. My father, Brian and I also own a ZAA accredited Drive-Thru Safari Park near the shores of Lake Erie Ohio. This 46 year-old establishment has housed more than 400 exotic and domestic animals since its inception. I am also President of this facility. In my many years with IAE/African Safari Wildlife Park I have done many jobs- from file clerk, government affairs, writing permits, marketing and animal transport attendant. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Hillsdale College and my MBA from the University of Detroit. As owners of IAE/African Safari we regularly consult with zoos, regulators, and scientists on improving animal regulations, welfare, nutrition, exhibitry and conservation. I have worked closely with government agencies around the US and the World to establish dialog that promotes global conservation initiatives through compromise, cooperation, and best practices. In more recent years, I have begun fostering interns and speaking at classes at Michigan State.


Vanessa Roer
Roer's Zoofari

Vanessa Stoffel

Vanessa Roer is the Chief Operating Officer for Bearizona Wildlife Park.  Ms. Roer holds a BS in Agriculture Education and MS in Community and Regional Planning Economic Development and more than fifteen years experience working in the zoological field with North American wildlife.  Ms. Roer has helped grow annual visitation from 90,000 to 200,000 since opening in 2010. Within three short years, Bearizona Wildlife Park earned recognition and joined the Grand Canyon as one of the top ten attractions in the state of Arizona. Bearizona Wildlife Park's rapid growth and development can in part be contributed to extensive use of large-scale exhibitry constructed from more than 150 tons of recycled scrap material.


John Seyjagat, ZAA Executive Director

Alan Smith, Executive Director

John Seyjagat has over 30 years’ experience in exotic animal management, 27 of which are at a supervisory or managerial level. Prior to taking the leadership role of Executive Director of the ZAA, he spent 14 years as Curator of Australian Exhibits at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

John started his zoological career in his homeland Trinidad where for 10 years he was Head Keeper at the Emperor Valley Zoo. In 1990 he migrated to the Florida USA where he joined the Lubee Foundation as Director and spent 13 years transforming that institution into one of the world leaders in fruit bat conservation.

John has extensive experience monitoring and evaluating populations of small mammals in the wild and has done field conservation work in the Philippines, Malaysia, Borneo, Papua New Guinea, South America, the Caribbean and Australia. His most recent conservation endeavor focused on a partnership with the Territory Wildlife Park in NT Australia to pursue the sustainable population management of Yellow Footed Wallaby, Northern Quoll, Oenpelli Python and Gouldian Finch.

John Seyjagat has contributed to over 50 bat research projects generating 92 scientific publications and numerous reptile research projects which resulted in the rediscovery of thought to be extinct species and most recently the discovery of a new species of turtle for Australia, Macrochelodina walloyarrina.

John Seyjagat has been involved in numerous exhibit designing projects including Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the National Aquarium in Baltimore’s Australia Wild Extremes, AZA’s 2008 Exhibit Award winner! John maintain ties with his homeland and serves as Director International of the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago Emperor Valley Zoo.

 

Jim Fowler, ZAA Ambassador and Advisor to the Board

Jim Fowler, ZAA Ambassador and Advisor to the Board

Jim Fowler has been involved in presenting animals to the public for over 40 years. He has been a consultant to zoos and wildlife parks, owns and operates his own wildlife ranch and is developing new kinds of wildlife parks that intend to reconnect families and children to the natural world by combining education and adventure. His career in television includes having been co-host and then host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” the wildlife correspondent to NBC's Today Show and a regular on many talk shows. He is currently the honorary president of the Explorer's Club and serves on the board of several wildlife organizations. His mission is to help affect public attitudes so more people care about the existence of the natural world and understand that “How We Treat the Earth” is vitally important to our human welfare.