Lake Superior Zoo CEO announces his retirementLake Superior Zoological Society CEO Sam Maida last week announced that he will soon step down after more than 20 years of service to the Lake Superior Zoo.
By: Budgeteer News staff, Duluth Budgeteer News
Lake Superior Zoological Society CEO Sam Maida last week announced that he will soon step down after more than 20 years of service to the Lake Superior Zoo.
No departure date has been set, but Maida will remain on board until a search committee finds a successor.
“The zoo has been important to me all my life,” Maida said in a news release. “I was born and raised in West Duluth, and I’ve worked for the Zoological Society for 20 years as an employee. I was a board member before
that. It has been a period of challenges, successes and changes. Just as our organization has grown and evolved, so has the role and requirements of my position. Everyone leaves at some time, and this is my time.”
Maida had planned to step down last year and the zoo had already begun the transition process, the release said, but his departure was delayed by June’s flood.
But, after the June 19-20 torrential rains that killed 11 barnyard animals and damaged several other exhibits, Maida remained at the zoo to oversee recovery.
“The flood forced us to shift priorities,” Maida said, “but we’re now ready to move ahead with the transition.”
The zoo has undergone significant changes during Maida’s two-decade tenure. He was actively involved in the transition of the zoo’s operations from the city of Duluth to the Zoological Society, helped the zoo regain its national accreditation in 2011 and oversaw implementation of the Primate Conservation Center and the Griggs Learning Center.
“We are thankful for Sam’s 20 years of leadership,” said Mike Polzin, president of the Zoological Society Board. “He helped grow the Zoological Society from a single employee to a substantial nonprofit organization charged with managing the zoo and all its assets for the city of Duluth.”