On Sept. 10, Denise M. Verret, Chief Executive Officer & Zoo Director of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, was sworn in as an elected member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Board of Directors for a three year term.
“Denise Verret is a talented leader who has contributed years of valuable service to the AZA community, serving as a member on the Government Affairs, Diversity, Business Operations, Annual Conference Program, and Nominating committees, and as an AZA accreditation inspector,” said Dan Ashe, President & CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “We are honored to welcome Denise and proud to have the first African American female to serve on the AZA Board.”
The AZA Board of Directors is comprised of a chair, three executive officers, and nine board members who are involved in every aspect of the national organization, including accreditation, ethics, animal welfare, and conservation. Each year, AZA accredited facilities contribute $230 million to field conservation projects that help to protect species across the world, serve more than 195 million visitors, welcome more than 12 million students on education field trips, contribute $22.5 billion to the U.S. economy, and support 208,000 jobs.
“I’m deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve the membership in this capacity as we continue our work to save wildlife from extinction and maximize our collective impact,” said Denise M. Verret, Chief Executive Officer & Zoo Director of the Los Angeles Zoo. “The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its member organizations are the trusted source for animal welfare and conservation and achieve the highest standards of excellence. I am proud to represent the Los Angeles Zoo in this national leadership role.”
Verret’s election to the Board of Directors comes on the heels of her recent June 28 confirmation by the Los Angeles City Council as the L.A. Zoo’s Chief Executive Officer & Zoo Director. Verret currently oversees the well-being of more than 1,400 animals and nearly two million visitors each year while leading the Zoo’s efforts in conservation, saving animals from extinction, and championing the highest standards in animal welfare. Verret previously served as the Zoo’s interim Zoo Director while a nationwide search was conducted by the Los Angeles City Mayor’s Office. Prior to serving as the interim Zoo Director, Verret held the position of the Zoo’s Deputy Director since 2000.
About the Los Angeles Zoo
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing more than 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,400 animals representing 270 different species, 58 of which are endangered. Its lush grounds on 133 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. The Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $21 for adults and $16 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo Web site at lazoo.org.
About the AZA
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and 11 other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.