Our Zoo harnesses the unique talents and abilities of 125 people, whose job titles range from zookeeper to veterinarian to train engineer. What they all have in common is a professional approach to their work, a friendly smile for our visitors and a great appreciation and respect for our animals.
With more than 2,000 animals, numerous conservation efforts, and more than 1.2 million annual visitors, the Milwaukee County Zoo is a uniquely demanding environment.
As director of the 200-acre Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Chuck oversees all Zoo administrative operations including a $26 million budget, a 2000-count animal collection, an annual attendance of 1.3 million visitors and a staff of 575 full-time/seasonal employees. Since he started as MCZ's Zoo Director in 1990, Zoo revenues have more than doubled and he has overseen over $80 million in capital improvements.
Prior to MCZ, Chuck served as director of the Pittsburgh Zoo, Pittsburgh, PA, from 1986-1989, director of the John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids, MI, from 1981-1985 and director of the Glen Oak Zoo, Peoria, IL, from 1973-1981. He began his zoo career as a zookeeper, at the Niabi Zoo, Rock Island County, IL, in 1973. Chuck earned a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1971.
Chuck has been a Professional Fellow with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) since 1974 and currently serves on the Accreditation Commission. He previously served as an Accreditation Commission Vice Chair. He has participated in 40 Zoo and aquarium accreditation inspections.
Chuck has traveled to Africa over 15 times visiting Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. In 1989 he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Chuck's Favorite Zoo Animals and Why:
Elephants and Penguins: "Both animals are fascinating to watch. Each individual has a personality of its own which affects how they interact with each other. I have had a chance to see each species in the wild."
If Chuck Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, He Would Be a:
"I would probably be a science teacher. Earlier in my career I participated much more in Zoo education programs. I really enjoyed introducing young people to how science affects their life and nature constantly."
As deputy director of administration and finance at the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Vera oversees all finance/administrative activities for the Zoo including accounting, budgeting, data processing, human resources, business office activities, capital project development, procurement, accounts payable/receivable, cash management and two trust funds. She manages a $26 million budget and 19 full-time/seasonal employees. Vera is also chair of MCZ's Green Committee.
Prior to MCZ, Vera served for fifteen years at the Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services, as a fiscal and management analyst. While there, she administered Milwaukee County's $1 billion budget, analyzing and making recommendations for fiscal and policy changes to over 22 County departments including public safety, health, administrative and cultural.
Vera earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business management and communications from Concordia University, Mequon, WI.
Vera's Favorite Zoo Animal and Why:
"It is so hard to pick a favorite animal because the Zoo has so many amazing animals to pick from large to small in size."
If Vera Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, She Would Be a:
"I would be a doctor. The human body is so fascinating and complex and the learning never ends especially with all of the ongoing advances in medicine."
As a deputy director of the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Beth manages all animal division programs, facilities, staff, and the Zoo's large animal collection. She oversees an annual $6 million animal division operating budget and 70 employees. Beth's responsibilities include developing/implementing Zoo goals, objectives and policies; coordinating activities with other institutions and governmental agencies; overseeing staff training and security; coordinating research/conservation programs; and overseeing the design and construction of new and renovated animal facilities and exhibits.
Prior to her role as deputy director, Beth served as Superintendent of the Tautphaus Park Zoo, Idaho Falls, Idaho, from 2010 to 2014 and as a General Curator from 2009 to 2010. Prior to the Tautphaus Park Zoo, Rich served as an Adjunct Instructor, Carroll University, 2008, and as an Animal Care Supervisor, Racine Zoological Society, 2007-2008.
She also served in a number of different roles at the Zoological Society of San Diego from 1997-2007 including Keeper (mammal department) - Wild Animal Park, 2005-2007; Keeper (Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Species) - Wild Animal Park, 2004-2005; Keeper (polar team) - San Diego Zoo, 2004; Animal Trainer, San Diego Zoo, 2003-2004; Lead Educator/Education Assistant/Educator Guide/Narrator, San Diego Zoo, 1997-2003; Educator Guide, Wild Animal Park, 1997-1998.
Rich earned a Master of Arts degree in conservation education from San Diego State University in 2007, and a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1996.
Beth's Favorite Zoo Animals and Why:
Favorite bird is the penguin. "I'm pretty taken with the rock hoppers."
Favorite mammal is the giraffe. "There's something very peaceful and calming about them."
Favorite herp is the king cobra. "When you walk through the Zoo's Aquatic and Reptile Center, she's very aware of your presence and watches you closely."
Favorite fish are the cichlids. "I love sitting on the bench in front of their exhibit and just watching them interact with each other."
Favorite invertebrate is the octopus. "Smart, curious, fascinating and just plain awesome."
If Beth Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, She Would Be a:
College professor of biology, specifically parasitology
As operations manager of the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Karl oversees the Zoo's concession, merchandise, visitor services, grounds, horticultural, house keeping and maintenance departments, including over 300 employees and a $10 million budget.
Prior to his role as operations manager, Karl served as MCZ's operations coordinator, from 1989 to 2004; as acting assistant director of finance, from 1988 to 1989; as building and grounds manager, from 1984 to 1988; as visitor services manager, from 1981 to 1984; as assistant concession supervisor, from 1977 to 1981; and as park attendant, from 1971 to 1975. Karl earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in management information systems from the University of WI-Milwaukee, in 1977.
Karl's Favorite Zoo Animal and Why:
"I like almost all of the animals at the Zoo."
If Karl Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, He Would Be a:
"If I couldn't work at the Zoo, I might have gone into the medical field or engineering."
As public affairs and services director at the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Laura oversees all public relations, special programs, group sales and special events with responsibilities including marketing, advertising, promotions and sponsorships. She oversees a $1.8 million budget and a staff of 42 full-time/seasonal employees.
Since she started as public affairs and services director in 1990, a la Carte has become one of metro Milwaukee's largest summer festivals; the Zoo's first website was established and then was redesigned in 2012; the Zoo has maintained its yearly attendance and status as Wisconsin's largest family attraction.
Prior to her role as public affairs and services director, Laura served as MCZ's public relations and special events coordinator, from 1987 to 1990, and as an assistant public relations coordinator, in 1986. She also worked as a public relations director for the Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL, from 1986 to 1987, and as a health information specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Health, Madison, WI, from 1985-1986.
Laura is a Professional Fellow with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Laura's Favorite Zoo Animal and Why:
"Giraffes are my favorite animals. They have sweet, gentle faces but can protect themselves when needed."
If Laura Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, She Would Be a:
"I would be a landscaper. I love the fact that you can see the results of your work immediately and I like working outside."
As senior staff veterinarian of the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Roberta is responsible for preventative, emergency and routine health care of MCZ's 2000-plus animal collection. Roberta oversees the animal hospital staff, veterinary clinical residency and pathology fellow programs.
Prior to her role as senior staff veterinarian, Roberta served as MCZ's staff veterinarian from 1989-1996 and as staff veterinarian for the Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis, IN, from 1987-1989. Roberta has been an educator for many institutions including an adjunct assistant instructor, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison, WI, since 1994, and adjunct assistant professor, Purdue University Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, West Lafayette, IN, in 1989. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, NY, in 1985.
Roberta has served as co-investigator for a Humboldt penguin research study in Chile, since 1994. In 2011, along with the MCZ staff veterinarian, she won The Business Journal's "Women of Influence Award" behind the scenes category that recognized her work establishing MCZ educational, training and conservation programs.
Roberta's Favorite Zoo Animal and Why:
"Penguins because they are charismatic and fascinating, large felines because of their grace and beauty and all bears because of their intelligence and toughness."
If Roberta Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, She Would Be a:
As curator of reptiles/aquariums at the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Craig manages and oversees animal health monitoring, animal staff and budgets. His interest in practical applications of conservation biology has led to the development of successful reintroduction methods for snakes and turtles. He is also involved with field research programs for Caribbean herpetofaua and Caribbean reefs. He has acted as a research mentor to undergraduate students as part of the Smithsonian's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, taught zoo biology at the request of the Society of Brazilian Zoos and he currently serves as a scientific advisor to the Urban Ecology Center. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen articles concerning fishes, amphibians and reptiles.
Craig served as a MCZ zookeeper from 1989-1996. Prior to MCZ, Craig worked as a consultant at King Neptune fish wholesaler, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1989-1996 and as a livestock manager at Great Lakes Pet Supply, Cudahy, Wisconsin, from 1984-1989. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, in 1976.
Craig's Favorite Zoo Animals and Why:
"Cephalopods, king cobra, monitor lizards – all for the same reasons. They are very intelligent and responsive to people. As for fish, I like cichlids because of their huge repertoire of behaviors."
If Craig Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, He Would Be a:
Paleontologist or a Marine Biologist
As curator of primates and small mammals at the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Jan oversees and manages animal health monitoring, husbandry, animal staff, budgets, buildings/exhibits, animal breeding/acquisition and research programs.
Prior to MCZ, Jan served as assistant lead keeper at the Chicago Zoological Society, Chicago, IL, from 1983-1989 and as a keeper/senior keeper from 1979-1983. He served as curator of zoo animals at Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, Fort Wayne, IN, from 1977-1979. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Purdue University, Fort Wayne, IN, in 1975.
Jan served as a research assistant for Dr. David Watts, under the directorship of Dr. Dian Fossey, collecting data and monitoring mountain gorilla health at the Karisoke Research Center, Rwanda, for a total of 14 months during the years 1984, 1986 and 1987.
Jan's Favorite Zoo Animals and Why:
"Gorillas, because they are very peaceful, gentle family-oriented individuals."
If Jan Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, He Would Be a:
"Career U.S. Marine, probably."
As bird and Family Farm curator at the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Alex oversees and manages health monitoring, husbandry, exhibits/buildings, animal breeding/acquisition, animal staff, budgets and training/enrichment programs for over 80 species of birds and all Family Farm animals. As a member of MCZ's Safety Committee and Guest Service Committee, Alex works to enhance all employee and guest experiences.
Prior to MCZ, Alex served as supervisor of aviculture at SeaWorld, Orlando, FL, from 1996-2008. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, in 1988.
In 2004, Alex aided hand rearing of Caribbean flamingos from abandoned eggs collected near Rio Lagartos, Mexico, and in 2002 he participated in a census count for the Galapagos penguin in Galapagos, Ecuador.
Alex's Favorite Zoo Animals and Why:
"I will always be partial to the penguins as that is where I started in the field and they continually find ways to amaze and occasionally frustrate me, which makes every day a challenge. They are characters."
If Alex Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, He Would Be a:
"Teacher/Coach- I love spending time with my kids and watching them learn new skills. Watching children gain self confidence when they master a task is very rewarding."
As curator of large mammals at the Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ), Tim oversees and manages animal health, husbandry, animal staff, budgets, animal breeding/acquisition, buildings/exhibits and training/enrichment programs for 38 different mammal species.
Prior to MCZ, Tim served at the Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City, MO, as an animal area supervisor from 2004-2011, a hoofstock keeper from 2001-2004, and an elephant keeper from 1999-2001. He served as head keeper at Northwest Wildfowl, Everett, WA, from 1996-1998. Tim earned his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, in 1991.
Tim's Favorite Zoo Animals and Why:
"African antelope. There is such a large and diverse number of species and each one has unique behavioral and ecological adaptations. Working with a variety of species really lets you see the subtle differences."
If Tim Had to Do it All Over Again and Couldn't Work at a Zoo, He Would Be a: