Erik Beck has been named executive director of the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden in Evansville. Beck has served in the role on an interim basis as well as director of operations. He has been with Mesker Park since 1995 and will also serve as executive director of the Evansville Zoological Society.
Beck succeeds Amos Morris, who announced in June his departure to become deputy director and chief operating officer at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California. EZS President Steve Bugg says the organization "looks forward to continuing to work with Erik in his new role and will support him and the zoo as we have for many years. I personally have enjoyed getting to know Erik and partnering with him during the transition period, and I am confident in the direction the city is taking with the leadership of the zoo."
The Evansville native is a graduate of Reitz Memorial High School and the University of Southern Indiana. He started as a zookeeper in 1995 and moved up the ladder at Mesker Park, serving as an animal curator, general curator, where he lead the $13 million Amazonia Rainforest project, and eventually interim director and director of operations.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says "Erik shares our collective vision of making the zoo a more vibrant destination for families. I am confident he can work in a collaborative fashion with the Evansville Zoological Society, our partner in the zoo operation."