Rick Biddle, managing director, strategic management & business consulting, Consultant Jill Macauley and I represented Schultz & Williams at the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Mid-Year Meeting in Albuquerque, NM last month. It was a great opportunity to visit with clients, friends and colleagues as well as make new connections with professionals from more 800+ zoos and aquariums across the country.

One topic of discussion kept bubbling up in conversations:  the importance of ensuring that zoos and aquariums remain relevant for today’s constituents. Most agree that engaging in conservation efforts and telling the conservation story are critical to conveying the important role that zoos and aquariums play in our world.

Zoo and aquarium leaders and staff are thinking critically about how to connect visitors and the entire community with their organization’s conservation story by exhibiting exemplary animal care, creating an engrossing guest experience, executing effective marketing and highlighting their hands-on work in the field. The consensus is that we all have to rev up our communication efforts in order to effectively share the industry’s narrative and make it as clear, concise and unified as we can.

S&W is also thinking about these crucial issues. In our everyday work and partnerships with zoos and aquariums, we’re asking the right questions through strategic and business planning, membership consulting, leadership transition management and direct response—all of which help zoos and aquariums tell their story. We are proud to work with our zoo and aquarium clients across the country in support of their work and commitment to conservation.

Each zoo and aquarium accredited by AZA joins ranks with the Association’s commitment to being a global leader in promoting species conservation and animal welfare