Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo president & CEO announces retirement

Dennis Pate, president and CEO of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, announced his...
Dennis Pate, president and CEO of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, announced his retirement plans on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022.(Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquaqrium)
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 1:19 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium President and CEO, Dennis Pate, has announced plans to retire early next year.

Pate has worked in zoos for the past 47 years — 13 of those in Omaha.

During his time with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Pate created and completed a 10-year master plan which consisted of improved guest services and amenities, and state-of-the-art exhibits that include: Scott African Grasslands, Asian Highlands, Bay Family Children’s Adventure Trails and Daugherty Education Center, and Owen Sea Lion Shores.

Under his leadership the Zoo achieved record breaking attendance, earned World’s Best Zoo by Travelocity, and Business of the Year from the Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

Pate was also instrumental in bringing elephants back to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in 2016, which has led to two elephant calves born this year.

In a release, Pate said, “Working at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has been the highlight of my professional life. I feel very lucky to have landed in this community and Zoo with such an incredible staff and board.”

Pate has also served as Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Board of Directors, AZA Accreditation Commission, and is currently serving on the Dian Fossey Board of Directors.

A search firm will be selected, and a national search will take place over the next year.

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