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AZA Accreditation Inspectors of the Year

By AZA Accreditation Team
min read

The Accreditation Commission, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, congratulates the 2020 Inspector of the Year Awardees. This award recognizes AZA Accreditation Inspectors who, throughout their years of service, have donated their time to a large number of inspections, and/or whose work has consistently been of exceptional quality. AZA appreciates all of their hard work and continued participation as accreditation inspectors. 


Headshot of Glenn Dobrogosz

Glenn Dobrogosz
Chief Executive Officer
Greensboro Science Center

Glenn Dobrogosz can trace his fascination with wildlife back to the age of five when his family moved into a home that had a rocky creek and huge bamboo thicket in the backyard—an environment which quickly became his outdoor laboratory and living zoo.

Glenn pursued that interest in nature by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in biology at Appalachian State University. After a stint in the Peace Corps, Glenn enrolled in Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo before officially beginning his zoo career at the Indianapolis Zoo. He served as the executive director at the Thompson Park Zoo and the Zoo at Chehaw before landing in his current role as the chief executive officer of the Greensboro Science Center. 

Glenn’s career has been defined by creative vision, constant advancement, and innovative development. He has served as the chair of the Accreditation Commission, and has volunteered as an accreditation inspector since 2009. He deeply believes that the accreditation process should be a positive and proactive experience that helps the continued evolution and success of the organization under review.

Animal Management/Husbandry

Headshot of John Davis

John Davis
Director of Animal Care and Welfare
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

John Davis is the director of animal care and welfare at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, S.C. Throughout his 30-year career, John has dedicated his expertise, energy, and passion to caring for and managing a diverse collection of animals, delivering the highest standards of care with a strong emphasis on animal training and exhibit design. John is committed to educating  people about the challenges facing our natural world and empowering them to protect it.  

A graduate of Kansas State University, John obtained a degree in wildlife biology and began his zoo career as an intern at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kan. He later accepted a keeper position at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, where he went on to serve as the curator of mammals, a position he held for nearly 15 years.

An AZA member since 1987, John has contributed by serving as an Institutional Representative for numerous TAGs/SSPs and as a member of the AZA Honors and Awards Committee. He is currently the program leader and studbook keeper for  river hippopotamus and a steering committee member for both the Elephant TAG/SSP and the Hippo, Peccary, Pig and Tapir TAG.

John has served as an AZA accreditation inspector since 2012, routinely performing two inspections each year. He strongly believes that AZA’s rigorous accreditation process is paramount to ensuring the highest standards in all aspects of animal care and operations, with the ultimate goal of inspiring zoo guests to care for and conserve precious and irreplaceable wildlife and wild places.


Headshot of Luis Padilla

Luis Padilla, DVM
Vice President, Animal Collection
Saint Louis Zoo

Dr. Luis R. Padilla is the vice president of animal collections at the Saint Louis Zoo in Saint Louis, Mo. Growing up in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, he developed an interest in animals, nature, science, and conservation at an early age. After earning an undergraduate degree and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University, Luis completed a zoo medicine residency at the Saint Louis Zoo, and then worked as a clinical veterinarian at the Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma City, Okla., the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va.

His path led him back to the Saint Louis Zoo, where Luis served as staff veterinarian and director of animal health before becoming a member of the Zoo’s executive leadership team in his current role.

Luis believes that zoos play an essential role in creating impactful connections between people and animals, and facilitate the social awareness needed to conserve and preserve wildlife. Dr. Padilla is board-certified as a zoo veterinarian by the American College of Zoological Medicine, and is currently a member of the AZA’s Accreditation Commission. He has served as an accreditation inspector since 2014.

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