Leadership Colorado Participants Had A Wild Day at Denver Zoo!

This week, Leadership Colorado participants received an in-depth look at the most visited cultural attraction in the state – Denver Zoo! CEO Bert Vescolani kicked off the program by walking the group through the 127-year history of the zoo and how it has grown and adapted to best serve the needs of their animals and community, as well as discussed some of the financial aspects of running this unique business.

The cohort then heard from other senior leaders discussing ‘The 4 C’s of Denver Zoo – Care, Conservation, Community, and Culture’ where all aspects of an animal’s welfare are addressed daily; the field conservation department’s study into jurisdictional gaps to help nearly endangered Colorado animals, their support of up-and-coming conservationists; and discussed their commitment and plan to address equity and culture in the workplace so that every employee and volunteer can thrive. We were also joined by Jessica Kato, Deputy Director of the SCFD, who explained how the voter-approved cultural tax has helped transform Colorado’s cultural scene into the envy of the national cultural community.

Participants then took a behind-the-scenes tour of the award-winning veterinary hospital, and even saw a pheasant undergoing a diagnostic procedure. The cohort later went behind-the-scenes in the Toyota Elephant Passage barn to see an unforgettable scientific process performed with Jake the elephant, highlighting Denver Zoo’s internationally renowned research on male (bull) elephants. We wrapped the program by visiting Stingray Cove, where participants interacted with cownose and southern stingrays by having them swim over their hands to eat fish!

Leadership Colorado will graduate this wonderful cohort in October, and we are already looking forward to our 2024 program! If you or someone you work with would like to apply for the 2024 Leadership Colorado program, stay tuned for applications to open by mid-October!

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