Message to Current and Potential Inspectors

Service as an accreditation inspector is a huge responsibility and requires a tremendous amount of work. Inspectors are a critical part of the accreditation process. AZA, and every institution it has accredited, relies on inspectors to do a thorough job and make an unbiased evaluation based upon accreditation standards and modern zoological practices and philosophies.

In addition to having professional expertise and sufficient experience, inspectors must be willing to follow instructions, study hard in advance, allow sufficient time and have sufficient patience to inspect, be capable of making tough decisions if necessary, remain impartial, and maintain complete confidentiality. The report and recommendations each team provides to the Accreditation Commission are an integral part of the process, and the list of concerns that each team generates provides an institution with a clear outline of items that must be successfully addressed before accreditation can be considered.

While the inspectors themselves do not determine whether an institution is ultimately accredited or not (that is the decision of the Accreditation Commission), inspectors serve as the "eyes and ears" of the Commission, and create a guide for professional improvement. AZA is grateful to all the experts who participate in this important process! Please visit the profiles of our Accreditation Inspectors of the Year.

Accreditation Inspector's Handbook

Visiting Committee Members may download the Inspector's Handbook (PDF) or contact the AZA office at 301-562-0777 to receive a copy.


The Inspector's Application Form may be submitted in either hard copy or electronic format. To submit the application via mail or fax, please click here. To submit the application electronically via email, please click here.

March 2023 Accreditation Inspectors

A big thank you . . .

Image of AZA Inspectors in front of aquarium exhibitEach year, many professional colleagues volunteer their time to assist the Accreditation Commission by conducting accreditation inspections and certification inspections. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily and dramatically altered where and how we work, there are foundational elements of our accreditation program that we cannot change without compromising the integrity of our process. On-site inspections are one of these cornerstones. Without the willingness and dedication of our volunteer inspectors, this aspect of our program would not have been able to move forward during these trying times. We owe a special level of gratitude to those brave individuals who have selflessly participated in on-site inspections in order to keep our accreditation program moving forward despite the increased risks associated with the pandemic this past year.

Denny Lewis
Senior Vice President, Accreditation Programs

Jennifer DiNenna
Director, Accreditation Programs

Cheri Bermudez
Accreditation Programs Coordinator

Ashley Pritchard
Program Assistant, Accreditation Programs

Our March 2023 AZA Accreditation Inspectors
Steve Aibel
Misha Body
Chris Bonar, VMD 
Michelle Bowman, DVM
Ellen Bronson, DVM
Barrett Christie
David Cochran
Hollie Colahan
Gretchen Cole, DVM
Maren Connolly, DVM
Casey Coy 
Jennifer D'Agostino, DVM
Thom Demas
Rick Dietz
Jared Durrett
Jeff Ewelt
Deidre Fontenot, DVM
Karen Goodrowe-beck, PhD
Nicole Grandinetti
Sean Greene
David Griffin
Caitlin Hadfield, DVM
David Hagan
Kevin Hodge
Nate Jaros
Dwight Lawson, PhD
Maureen Leahy
Dale Leeds
Shirley Llizo, DVM
Brett Long
Gary Lunsford
Stephanie McCain, DVM
Nancy McToldridge
Rachel Metz
Jennifer Moffatt
Allen Monroe
Don Moore, PhD
Amos Morris
Mike Murray, DVM (3 times)
Mike Nance, DVM
Mackenzie Neale
Luis Padilla, DVM 
Chris Pfefferkorn
Craig Piper
Vernon Presley
Sean Putney
Beth Posta
Karen Rifenbury (3 times)
Anne Shimerdla
Brandie Smith, PhD
Scott Terrell, DVM
Rich Toth
Allison Tuttle, DVM
Brent Whitaker, DVM
Maylon White (2 times)
Clint Wright (3 times)
Jeff Wyatt, DVM (2 times)
Sam Young, DVM
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