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April 17, 2019

Saint Louis Zoo Names Two Proven Leaders to Direct Zoo and New North Campus Efforts

Michael Macek promoted to Saint Louis Zoo Director and Dr. Jo-Elle Mogerman hired as Saint Louis Zoo North Campus Director

The Saint Louis Zoo today announced the promotion of Michael Macek (pronounced "MAY-sick"), MBA, to the role of Saint Louis Zoo Director as well as the hiring of Jo-Elle Mogerman (pronounced "MOH-grr-men"), Ph.D., as the Saint Louis Zoo North Campus Director. Both Macek and Dr. Mogerman will report directly to Jeffrey Bonner, Ph.D., Dana Brown President & CEO.

"The Saint Louis Zoo is known for providing world-class animal welfare, performing cutting-edge conservation science and research, and providing exemplary visitor experiences," said Dr. Bonner. "Michael and Jo-Elle are proven leaders that will help the Zoo continue to excel at these efforts as we move forward."

Macek will provide overall vision, leadership and support for the Zoo and its core zoological and operational activities. The following departments will report to Macek: Animal Health, Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences, Nutrition, Education, Conservation and Audience Research and Evaluation, Facilities Management, Business Operations, Animal Collection, the Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute (WCI) and the Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine (ICM).

Dr. Mogerman will lead the Zoo's new North Campus, a 425-acre property located in north St. Louis County in the city of Spanish Lake, as well as operations of the Conservation & Animal Science Center and public attractions that will connect people with nature and animals. She will oversee the creation and the development of this new and exciting attraction for the St. Louis community and tourists alike.

"The next 18 months or so are incredibly important as Zoo leadership works on its long-range plans for the Zoo and the new property in north St. Louis County," said Dr. Bonner. "Michael and Jo-Elle have pivotal roles in this planning process as well as in our core zoological and operational activities. I am especially interested in working with them to create and maintain synergy between the Zoo, the North Campus and our conservation efforts worldwide."

A native Chicagoan, Macek came to St. Louis from the Brookfield Zoo in 1990 and over the past 29 years has moved from Zoologist to Curator of Birds to Chief Operating Officer (COO) and now Saint Louis Zoo Director. Named the Zoo's COO in 2016, Macek was responsible for the Zoo's Research, Education and Animal Health Departments. He also has helped manage WCI and ICM. Macek earned a bachelor's degree in zoology and chemistry from Eastern Illinois University and a master's degree in business administration from Loyola University Chicago. He also served as Director of two WCI centers — the Center for Conservation in Punta San Juan, Peru, and the Center for the Conservation of the Horned Guan in Chiapas, Mexico. Macek has been very active on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) advisory groups and program management teams.

Dr. Mogerman also is a native of Chicago who grew up with a love of animals. She leaves Shedd Aquarium where she served as the Vice President of Learning and Community since 2017. In that role, she oversaw the vision and strategic direction for all learning and community programs. Prior to Shedd Aquarium, Dr. Mogerman spent nearly 14 years at Brookfield Zoo. She also served as an Illinois Nature Preserves Commissioner and was Chair of the AZA's Diversity Committee. She obtained a bachelor's degree in biology from Macalester College, a master's degree in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota as well as a doctorate in biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

With the addition of Dr. Mogerman as well as a few other recent promotions, this brings the Zoo's Executive Staff to 10 people. This includes:

  • Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown President & CEO
  • Michael Macek, Saint Louis Zoo Director
  • Dr. Jo-Elle Mogerman, Saint Louis Zoo North Campus Director
  • Cynthia Holter, CFRE, Senior Vice President, External Relations
  • Cassandra J. Brown Ray, Chief Financial Officer
  • Stephen E. Barth, Vice President, Special Projects
  • Dr. Luis Padilla, Vice President, Animal Collections
  • Dustin Deschamp, Vice President, Internal Relations and General Counsel
  • David F. McGuire, AIA, William Bernoudy Vice President, Architecture and Planning
  • Jim Madison, Vice President, Business Operations

To learn more about the members of the Zoo's Executive Staff, go here.

Saint Louis Zoo 314/781-0900
Billy Brennan, 314/646-4633,
Christy Childs, 314/646-4639,
Mike De Pope, 314/646-4703,