Zoo Announces new President

Posted on September 27, 2017 by Jay

Salt Lake City, UT (September, 2017) –
Utah’s Hogle Zoo is pleased to announce Steve Burns as the new President/CEO, replacing Craig Dinsmore who is retiring after 20 years.

Burns is currently the Executive Director of Zoo Boise in Idaho and Executive Director of the Friends of Zoo Boise, where he served for 20 years. He is known through the AZA community for his commitment to and passion for conservation having served as Chair of the AZA Field Conservation Committee and as member and Chair of the national Board of Directors for AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums).

“I’ve been watching Hogle Zoo for 20 years,” Burns said after the Zoo’s Board of Directors made the announcement. “I’ve known Craig, I’ve visited the Zoo and I’ve been impressed. It’s a beautiful Zoo and there’s amazing support from the community. The Zoo wants to move in the direction of going beyond the gates and doing conservation of animals in the wild. When you put those three factors together it made the choice easy.”

During Burns tenure at Zoo Boise he led three successful capital campaigns, built or remodeled 85% of the zoo’s exhibits, increased attendance 90% over 20 years and promoted a culture of conservation.

“A change in leadership brings great opportunities for an organization’s growth and mission,” said the Zoo’s current CEO, Craig Dinsmore. “I have every confidence that Steve will be an outstanding President/CEO and that Hogle Zoo will continue to excel with his leadership.”

Burns will move his family to Salt Lake City, and is slated to start in early December. “I love the mountains. If I had a choice between the beach or mountains I’d pick the mountains every time. That Salt Lake has such an abundance of those makes it all the more special.”

Once settled, Burns is eager to continue expanding Hogle Zoo’s mission in creating a better place for wildlife. “I think zoos continue to evolve,” he said. “The natural world is not in good shape and the natural world needs zoos to move in the direction that every time someone visits they’re not only having a good time with their family, they’re helping animals in the wild.”