Annual Conference Program Committee

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Annual Conference Program Committee Mission

  • Liaise with Committees and Animal Program groups to develop “hot topics” that need to appear on the Annual Conference program and that reflect the strategic goals and mission of the organization;
  • Promote and solicit participation in the Call for Papers from all areas and levels of AZA membership;
  • Review all Call for Papers submissions to determine the Annual Conference program;
  • Boost Conference attendance of AZA members from all organizational disciplines and levels;
  • Assist AZA staff with efforts to grow and enhance value of Annual Conference and Mid-Year Meeting participation among committees and animal program groups.


Beth Firchau, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Vice Chair

Ryan Gulker, Sedgwick County Zoo

Board Liaison

Dennis Kelly, Smithsonian National Zoo

AZA Staff Liaison

Cheryl Wallen


Tim Binder, John G. Shedd Aquarium
Terry Blumer, Woodland Park Zoo
Steven Conners, Zoo Miami
Sean Devereaux, Aquarium of the Pacific
Pete Fingerhut, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Drew Foster, Phoenix Zoo
Sara Hallager, Smithsonian National Zoo
Tara Henson, Oklahoma City Zoo
John Kemper, PGAV Destinations
Erika Kohler, Lincoln Park Zoo
Michael Mace, San Diego Zoo Global
Lynn McDuffie, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Stacy McReynolds, San Antonio Zoo
Leah Melber, Ph.D., Lincoln Park Zoo
Ken Peterson, Monterey Bay Aquarium
Jennifer Rawlings, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
Peggy Sloan, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Bill Tortorici, Denver Zoo
Denise Verret, Los Angeles Zoo