Honors and Awards

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Honors and Awards Applications due May 1, 2014  

It's time to share your successes and exceptional work!

  • Edward H. Bean Award
  • Angela Peterson Excellence in Diversity Award
  • Education Award
  • Excellence in Marketing Award
  • Exhibit Award
  • Green Award
  • International Conservation Award
  • North American Conservation Award

The 2014 awards will be presented at the 2014 AZA Annual Conference (September  12 - 18) hosted by the Disney’s Animal Kingdom, The Seas and SeaWorld Orlando. 

The 2014 applications and guidelines for each award can be found by visiting the links in the column on the left.


Awards conferred via Nomination

R. Marlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence

The 2013 honoree - Palmer "Satch" Krantz, President and CEO, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

The 2010 honoree - Karen Sausman, President Emeritus, The Living Desert

The 2008 honoree - Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Deadline: December 15 annually

In 1978, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums established its highest award for professional excellence, named for its first recipient, R. Marlin Perkins. Only one recipient can be honored in any given year, and since the award criteria are lofty, it is anticipated that the award will not be given every year.

Nominations are accepted year-round and are due no later than December 15th of the year preceding the year in which the Award is to be conferred.

Honorary Membership Award

The AZA Board of Directors has instituted a moratorium on nominations for Honorary Membership while the Membership Committee and the Board of Directors are in the process of evaluating all membership categories.

AZA has created a special membership category to recognize both members and non-members who have made significant contributions to the profession. Candidates should not be working in the zoo or aquarium profession and are elected by the Board of Directors.

List of Honorary Membership recipients

Tim O'Sullivan Award for Professional Development

2013 Recipient: Steve Marshall, Director, El Paso Zoo

2012 Recipient: Kevin Willis, Director of Biological Programs, Minnesota Zoo

Deadline: April 30 annually
The Tim O'Sullivan Award for Professional Development recognizes significant long-term individual achievement and service to AZA members through the AZA Professional Development Program and the AZA Board of Regents.

Previous Winners
  • 2008 Recipient: Margaret A. Dankworth, AZA Executive Director 1972 - 1975
  • 2007 Recipient: John Hargleroad, Operations Director, Oglebay Park
  • 2005 Recipient: Earl Wells, Retired Director, Fort Wayne Children's Zoo (awarded posthumously)
  • 2004 Recipient: Bruce Carr, PhD, AZA Director of Conservation Education

Wendy Fisher Award for Professional Excellence

The 2012 honoree - Kevin McNicholas, K-M Concessions and Service Systems Associates (SSA)

The 2010 honoree - Charles M. Davis, FAIA, EHDD Architecture

The 2007 honoree - Joyce Basel, Adventure Boutique, Inc.

Deadline: June 1 annually
Commercial Members who have demonstrated outstanding character, leadership, professional excellence and distinguished service to AZA and fellow Commercial Members. The award is named for its first recipient, Wendy Fisher.