Managing for Success: Career Development

Hosted by Oglebay Resort
Wheeling, WV
February 14 - 19, 2022

Course Overview

Managing for Success: Career Development examines management disciplines with emphasis on their application to zoos and aquariums. Participants will receive practical tools and skills to take back to their institutions to apply at their level, including an increased network of resources and heightened leadership skills.

Course Topics

  • AZA Animal Programs
  • Behavioral Preferences
  • Budgeting
  • Conservation and Science 
  • Conservation Education and Volunteers
  • Development 
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Employment Law
  • Government Affairs
  • Guest Experience
  • Hot Topics
  • Introduction to AZA
  • Motivation 
  • Performance Management
  • Recruiting and Hiring
  • Revenue Generating Activities
  • Storytelling
  • Structure and Governance
  • Trends

Course Schedule

First Day
 - Student registration
 - Opening evening ceremony
 - Courses meet for individual opening session/class

- Classes meet all day

Last Day
- Classes meet
- Closing Ceremony

Attendance for course participants is required for the duration of the course until the evening of the last day. As a result, individuals generally depart the following day. Attendees will receive a detailed schedule for their course after their registration is confirmed.


Elise Bernardoni, Director of Education, Conservation Nation
Hollie Colahan, Vice of Living Collections, Birmingham Zoo
Laurie Conkerton, Executive VP and Chief Admin. Officer, Audubon Zoo
Christina Dembiec, Director of Education, Memphis Zoo
Chris Gentile, Director, Western North Carolina Nature Center
Craig Hoover, Executive Vice President, AZA
Charles Hopper, Chief Operation Officer, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Kyle Huetter, Content Development Manager, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Craig Jacobs, Director of Human Resources, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Kathayoon Khalil, Director of Engagement, Zoo Advisors
Kenton Kerns, Assistant Curator, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Andi Kornak, Deputy Executive Director/Director of Animal & Veterinary Programs, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Steve Olson, Senior VP of Government Affairs, Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Amy Rutherford, Director of Professional Development & Education, AZA
Bill Street, Senior Vice President, Indianapolis Zoo
Tony Vecchio, Executive Director, Jacksonville Zoo
Carman Wirtz, Senior VP of Human Resources, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Is This Course Right For You?

This course is designed for supervisory level employees and those who aspire to that level, up to and including middle managers. Any level manager new to the industry will especially benefit.


None. Sequential completion of Managing for Success: Career Development and Managing for Success: Organizational Development is recommended. Priority will be given to individuals associated with AZA-accredited institutions. If you are not employed by a zoo or aquarium, please submit a letter describing your interest in taking the course to for consideration.

Travel & Accommodations

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) is the closest airport. Airport Limousine Plus and First Class Limo provide a shuttle service between PIT and the hotel.

Course participants stay at Oglebay Resort & Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia and classes meet on-site. All lodging reservations are priced per person at a package rate. Your accommodations will include all: breakfast, lunches, dinners, and snacks throughout the entirety of your stay. 

General Package Pricing*:
Standard Rooms/Byrd Wing
~$830 per person quad occupancy (Shared Room)
~$890 per person triple occupancy (Shared Room)
~$1020 per person double occupancy (Shared Room)
~$1390 per person single occupancy

Deluxe Rooms/West Wing
~$860 per person quad occupancy (Shared Room)
~$930 per person triple occupancy (Shared Room)
~$1080 per person double occupancy (Shared Room)
~$1500 per person single occupancy

Premium Rooms/Lakeside Wing
~$890 per person quad occupancy (Shared Room)
~$970 per person triple occupancy (Shared Room)
~$1130 per person double occupancy (Shared Room)
~$1620 per person single occupancy

*Package pricing rates are all-inclusive and per person. Prices are subject to change 

Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations. You will receive an email containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted.

Course Registration

The AZA registration fee below only covers tuition for the course. Other expenses include hotel, travel, and meals which are included at a package rate with lodging accommodations. For more information about costs and logistics for courses hosted by Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, WV, visit our Wheeling Courses Travel Information page. Registration prices are subject to change. 

Scholarship funding for courses is available through a competitive process. AZA scholarship applications are due by mid-July and are awarded by early September. 

AZA Accredited / Certified Institutions*
Early Bird Rate:
 Deadline 12 weeks prior to course start date
$950 with Individual AZA Membership 
$1150 without Individual AZA Membership

Regular RateDeadline 4 weeks prior to course start date
$1150 with Individual AZA Membership 
$1350 without Individual AZA Membership

Individual Membership must be Professional Affiliate or Professional Fellow to qualify. 

Non-AZA Institutions
Early Bird Rate:
 Deadline 12 weeks prior to course start date
$1150 with Professional Associate Membership

Regular RateDeadline 4 weeks prior to course start date
$1350 with Professional Associate Membership

Individual Membership Requirement
Staff from non-AZA accredited institutions must have an individual AZA membership to apply and register for an AZA course. 

For information regarding our registration and refund policies, please visit our Professional Development Course Policies page. Accepted forms of payment for registration are by credit card, check, or purchase order. 

To register with a credit card
You may now register and pay online with a credit card! Non-members can log in too, after creating a free account. After logging in, choose "Professional Development" from the menu on the left. Next, click on the title of the event for which you would like to register. Finally, choose "Event Registration" from the options at the top and complete the registration process. When registering online, there is no need to submit the registration form. You will receive an acceptance email or waitlist email once acceptance decisions are made. 

To register with a check or purchase order
Please email your request to register, specifying the course and the name of whom you would like to register, to the Professional Development Coordinator.
Checks sent for course payment will be cashed immediately upon receipt as per standard business practices. Cashing your check does not indicate that you have been accepted into a course. You will receive an acceptance email or a waitlist email once acceptance decisions are made. If you are not admitted into the course from the waitlist, a full refund will be promptly issued.  

*Prices are subject to change

For information regarding our code of conduct, registration, and refund policies, please visit our Professional Development Course Policies page.

Questions? For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Development Department.

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