Red panda

Vision Statement

To create excitement and stir passion in every visitor to become a champion of our natural world.

Mission Statement

We connect your life to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

You Belong logoThe Akron Zoo is committed to upholding the value of diversity in our relationships and activities with employees, guests, colleagues, partners, and the community.
As an employer, we are committed to a workforce of diverse cultures, physical characteristics and life experiences to better serve the community.
As a community partner, we continually strive to be inclusive through the use of programming and education aimed at underserved audiences and stakeholders.

We demonstrate our commitment by:
  • Striving to build a workforce that reflects our customer base, within the diverse communities in which we work, with the aim of having parity of representation across the workforce.
  • Promoting an environment free from discrimination of any kind, bullying and harassment and addressing behavior that broaches this.
  • Providing support and encouragement to staff to develop their careers and increase their contribution to the organization through the enhancement of their skills and abilities.
  • Providing specialized programs and activities for under-served communities.
  • Emphasizing through education and programming, the role diversity has in creating richness, wonder and excitement in our world.

Our goal is to ensure that these commitments, reinforced by our values, are embedded in our day-to-day working practices.  

Akron Zoo Annual 2021 Report

Akron Zoo Executive Team

Doug Piekarz
President & CEO

Doug stepped into the role of president & CEO in 2015. Prior to taking the lead role at the zoo, Doug was the vice president of planning and conservation programs. Doug has over 26 years in the zoo profession, specializing in the areas of strategic and master planning, animal and facility operations, exhibit development and green practices. Doug joined the Akron Zoo in 1998 as the general curator and has held several positions at the Akron Zoo. Before coming to the Akron Zoo, Doug was a senior wild animal keeper and area supervisor at the Bronx Zoo in New York.

Linda Criss
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Pam Holtz
Senior Vice President & Chief External Affairs Officer
Mellissa Reed
Senior Vice President & Chief Business Officer
Dr. Kim Cook
VP of Life Sciences
Michelle Vectirelis
VP of People & Culture
Dr. Vince Jeffries
Assistant VP of Communications

Akron Zoo Board of Directors

  • Chair: Michele Santana
  • Immediate Past Chair: Jim Snider
  • Vice-Chair: John Slagter and Eddie Taylor
  • Treasurer: Sophia Veillette
  • Secretary: Eren Demiray