AZA News Releases

AZA and IMATA Co-Locate Their 2014 Annual Conferences in Orlando

Silver Spring, MD- The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association (IMATA) are co-locating their Annual Conference from September 12-18, 2014 in Orlando, Florida. The event is expected to draw more than 3,000 participants and attract hundreds of product and service providers, making it the most well attended zoo and aquarium event in both organizations’ history.

“Both AZA and IMATA help to protect animal species around the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “Working with similarly focused professional organizations is a vital way to expand the work of both organizations and provides valuable opportunities to advance professional networking and engagement among organizations.”

“Combining our conferences for 2014 offers our collective attendees many opportunities to learn from one another, collaborate and enjoy the talents of their colleagues at AZA and IMATA,” said Kelly Flaherty Clark, Vice President of IMATA and the Curator of Animal Training for SeaWorld Orlando. “Program sessions, events, and the Exhibit Hall will be combined, offering valuable cross-over for all attendees.”

The AZA/IMATA Annual Conference will be held at the Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort located in Orlando, Florida and will be hosted by Walt Disney World Resort and SeaWorld Orlando.  Many committee and program meetings will be held from September 12-14, 2014, including IMATA’s Board of Directors meeting. AZA’s conference education sessions will be held September 15-17. IMATA will hold sessions during that same period and extend by one day to September 18. The Conference will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Cristián Samper, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wildlife Conservation Society, on September 15. Additionally, more than 175 companies that help provide services and support to the zoo and aquarium community will be featured in the lively exhibit hall.

AZA and IMATA thank the following platinum level sponsors for their support: CLR Design; Disney’s Animals, Science & Environment, McRoberts Sales Co., Inc., San Diego Zoo Global; Service Systems Associations, Inc.; The Portico Group; and Torre Design Consortium, Ltd.

More information can be found at 

Please note: Media credentials will be required. Members of the press interested in attending must contact AZA in advance. 

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and six other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit


IMATA is a professional society founded on the vision and mission to foster communication, professionalism, and cooperation among those who serve marine mammal science through training, public display, research, husbandry, conservation, and education. Specifically, IMATA recognizes its role and responsibilities to the continued existence of oceanaria, aquaria, and laboratories housing marine mammals. IMATA provides opportunities through which marine animal trainers can exchange and disseminate current knowledge, research and other information among themselves in professional and social settings. IMATA is dedicated to providing and advancing the most professional, effective, and humane care of marine animals in all habitats. For more information, visit

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