Managing for Success: Organizational Development

Hosted by Oglebay Resort
Wheeling, WV
February 13-18, 2023

Managing for Success: Organizational Development prepares leaders to meet the specific challenges of a leadership role within a zoo or aquarium and the duality of meeting both mission and bottom line. The course addresses ethical, animal welfare, and collection issues as well as the planning techniques and strategies required to lead these unique organizations successfully.

Course Topics
  • Animal Welfare and Animal Rights
  • Collection Management
  • Concepts of Leadership
  • Conflict Management
  • Conservation and Science 
  • Individual Development Plan
  • Effective Meetings
  • Ethics
  • Hot Topics 
  • Legislation and Regulation
  • Mission, Vision, Goals and Objectives
  • Negotiation: Strategies and Techniques for Success
  • Planning
  • Project Management 
  • Survival Skills for New Leaders
  • Team Development
  • Team Dimensions
  • Tools for Trust 
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 is required for course participants 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
, VP of Living Collections - Birmingham Zoo
Laurie Conkerton, Executive VP and Chief Admin Officer - Audubon Zoo
Christina Dembiec
, Director of Education - Memphis Zoo
Chris Gentile, Executive Director - Western North Carolina Nature Center
Craig Hoover, Executive Vice President - Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Charles Hopper, Chief Operating 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
Kenton Kerns
, Assistant Curator - Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Kathayoon Khalil, Director of Engagement - Zoo Advisors
Andi Kornak, Deputy Executive Director/Director of Animal & Veterinary Programs - Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Laura Martina
, Chief People Officer - Fresno Chaffee Zoo
Steve Olson, Senior VP of Government Affairs - Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Bill Street, Senior Vice President - Indianapolis 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.

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

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

Lodging information coming soon.

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 breakfast, lunches, dinners, and snacks throughout the entirety of your stay. 

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.

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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