Safety Committee


  • Serves as a primary resource for gathering and disseminating "example practices" in safety within zoos and aquariums, including through the AZA Professional Development Committee.
  • Collaborates with AZA’s Government Affairs Committee to be a resource with regard to federal OSHA, DOT, and EPA regulations and related state/local regulations governing workplace safety, transportation of animals and people, and safe chemical management as it pertains to zoological parks and aquariums.
  • Addresses emerging safety issues facing AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and makes recommendations to the AZA Board and Accreditation Commission about same.
  • Works with AZA staff and legal counsel to develop method for gathering  data from member zoos/aquariums with regard to potential hazards, risk management, safety incidents, and emergency preparedness to evaluate trends and recommend changes in best practices and professional development/training.
  • Confidentially reviews major incident investigations by AZA Accreditation Commission as requested, and provides feedback to Accreditation on findings, proposed controls and any trends.

Dave Ruhl, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Maria Gallegos, Houston Zoo, Inc.
Nathan Fague, Mystic Aquarium

Amber Acord, Akron Zoological Park
Steven Bauer, Denver Zoo
Kelly Cox, Zoo Knoxville
Mark Craven, Tennessee Aquarium
Nathan Fague, Mystic Aquarium
Adam Fink, Oakland Zoo
Ken Frye, Scovill Zoo
Maria Gallegos, Houston Zoo, Inc.
Cecilie Halliwill, Audubon Zoo
Rick Holzworth, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Robert Lewis, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Zach Marchetti, Brevard Zoo
T Dan Marsh, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Kelly Murphy, North Carolina Zoo
Christine Nottage, SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord
David Ruhl, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Tim Sampson, John Ball Zoo
Patrick Schlemmer, San Francisco Zoological Gardens
Shanna Simpson, Topeka Zoo
Sue Tygielski, Reid Park Zoo
Jason Witmer, Palm Beach Zoo
Joanna Zazzali, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Ashley Arimborgo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Beth Cinadr, Akron Zoological Park
Melissa Lewkowich, Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo
Thomas Meehan, Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo
James Tissue
Patricia Waickman, Akron Zoological Park

Board Liaison
Eric Rose, Herschend Enterprises

AZA Staff Liaisons
Jack Keeney
Ashley Zielinski

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