Indy Zoo Details Leadership Transition

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Mike Crowther (left) and Rob Shumaker (photos courtesy Indianapolis Zoo) Mike Crowther (left) and Rob Shumaker (photos courtesy Indianapolis Zoo)

The Indianapolis Zoo Board of Trustees has approved a plan to address upcoming retirement of President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Crowther in January 2020. The board says Crowther's role will be split into two positions for the next two years.

Under the plan, Crowther will remain as CEO while Zoo Director Rob Shumaker will assume the role of president. Upon Crowther's retirement, the two positions will once again be combined into one.

Shumaker, who has been with the zoo for eight years, will oversee all of the zoo's departments and will report to Crowther. Meanwhile, Crowther will oversee the development of the zoo's Master Plan.

"The Indianapolis Zoo exists to help sustain our planet, and we’re committed to finding ways to do it better," Crowther in a news release. "Our children and grandchildren deserve a future they’d choose to live in, and that requires a world that’s beautiful, dynamic, and alive! Our world’s biodiversity transforms our planet from a barren rock into a rich tapestry whose fragile threads combine to form a fabric of astonishing beauty and resiliency. Our master plan’s goal is to both shine a light on that tapestry and protect it forever."

The leadership transition plan was developed by a Transition Committee, which included a number of regional business leaders. Board Chairman Jim Powers says the primary goal of the plan was to continue the success created through Crowther's leadership "without losing momentum."

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