Sedgwick County Zoo President, CEO, announces resignation

Sedgwick County Zoo
Sedgwick County Zoo(KWCH)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:45 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Sedgwick County Zoo confirmed in a news release that its President and CEO, Dr. Jeff Ettling, announced his resignation, effective next month.

Dr. Ettling, Sedgwick County Zoo President and CEO since May 2017, is leaving to accept the same leadership position at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Sedgwick County Zoo credits Dr. Ettling for leading the facility through unprecedented growth that started in 2018 with a comprehensive strategic master plan. Growth in the past four years includes the opening of a new entry complex and newly expanded Slawson Family Asian Big Cat Trek, the Wild Lights Asian Lantern festival and the planning of the Martha C. Buford Safari Express electric train and the Stringray Cove experience, both expected to open this summer.

“Dr. Jeff was the right leader at the right time,” said Sheryl Wohlford, Chair of the Sedgwick County Zoological Society Board of Trustees. “We appreciate the energy, passion and experience he brought to our Zoo plus we’re appreciative of the incredibly talented team who have created and will maintain our standing as a world-class zoo.”

The Sedgwick County Zoological Society and Sedgwick County will start a search process for the zoo’s next president and CEO. The county announced plans for Deputy County Manager Tim Kaufman to serve the zoo leadership role in the interim.

“We thank Dr. Ettling for leading Sedgwick County Zoo through its 50th year and positioning our community treasure for the next 50 years,” said David Dennis, Sedgwick County Commission Chairman and Sedgwick County Zoological Society Board of Trustees member. “Our Zoo benefitted from his decades of experience in accredited zoos. We are glad that Tim Kaufman can work with the staff of dedicated professionals who are the backbone of the Zoo’s mission.”

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