Minnesota Zoo Media Contact
If you are a member of the press, please contact: Josh Le
Communications and Media Relations Manager
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Apple Valley, MINN – June 6, 2017 – The Minnesota Zoo announced today that Tony Grundhauser has been named the new Executive Director of the Minnesota Zoo Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit that raises contributed income on behalf of the Minnesota Zoo. After an extensive search led by executive recruitment firm, CohenTaylor, he succeeds Melissa Parker Lindsay who retired in March after 11 years with the Foundation.
Other recent appointments to the Zoo’s new Leadership Team include Dave Frazier, Zoo Deputy Director and Senior Vice President for Operations and Michelle Geddes, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications.
“I am excited to add such talented and experienced industry experts to our Leadership Team,” says Zoo Director and President John Frawley. “The role of zoos has never been more important as we work together around the world to help save wildlife. Therefore, it is imperative that we attract leaders in various fields to ensure our success.”
“These new Leadership Team members will create opportunities for our guests and people throughout Minnesota to experience emotional connections with wildlife and gain a greater appreciation for them. By delivering extraordinary guest experiences and increasing awareness of the growing challenges of wildlife survival, we hope to encourage all Minnesotans to become partners with us to achieve our mission to ‘connect people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife,” states Frawley.
Grundhauser was most recently the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Hamline University. Prior to his nearly 13 years in higher education, he worked for The Nature Conservancy where he helped lead efforts in conservation, conservation science, land protection, and fund raising. “Tony is the perfect person for the job,” says Samantha Capen Muldoon, Minnesota Zoo Foundation Board Chair and a member of the Search Committee. “He has outstanding fund raising, community relations, and event management skills, along with an extraordinary commitment to conservation.”
Grundhauser spent 10 years working for conservation-based organizations. At the Foundation, he will lead efforts to secure annual operating, conservation, and capital funds for the Zoo. Over the past two years, the Foundation raised more than $8 million.
Frazier joined the Minnesota Zoo in February 2017, with nearly 30 years of business and customer service experience in the amusement industry. He is the past Vice President and General Manager of Valleyfair Amusement Park in Shakopee, Minnesota and the former general Manager of Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America. At the Zoo, Frazier manages the Zoo’s day-to-day operations, including customer service, membership, volunteers, grounds, and food service.
Geddes joined the Minnesota Zoo in May 2017 after serving for nearly three years as the Director of Marketing for the Chicago Park District where she led efforts to increase brand awareness, promote programs and events, and provide information on behalf of Chicago’s 580 parks and 27 miles of lakefront. In her new role, she is responsible for increasing the Zoo’s visibility and annual attendance.
“Minnesota is fortunate to have a world-class zoo that now will be managed by an incredibly talented and experienced team,” continues Frawley. “I am honored to be working with such an accomplished group of leaders.”
The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. The Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).