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Zoo director retires

Contributed

After 20 years of dedicated service to the Montgomery Zoo, Doug Goode has retired leaving a legacy of tremendous growth and expansion.  Deputy Zoo Director, Marcia Woodard, was named as Doug’s successor, effective on April 2018.

Doug began his career at the Montgomery Zoo in January of 1994 as a Zookeeper.  He briefly left the zoo in 1997 to further his management skills by becoming the Assistant Zoo Director of Zoo World in Panama City Beach, Florida.   Eight short months later, he made his way back home to become the Deputy Zoo Director and was promoted to Zoo Director in June 2001. 

Under Doug’s leadership the Montgomery Zoo has seen tremendous growth including the addition of several attractions such as the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, Giraffe Encounter, Zoofari Skylift, Parakeet Cove, petting zoo, new playground, and paddle boats.  Doug’s vision for the zoo also led to the successful expansion of the elephant exhibit, addition of North American River Otters, new alligator exhibit, and the Zoo’s newest exhibit, Stingray Bay, that opened just prior to his retirement in March, 2018.

New Zoo Director, Marcia Woodard, is also a longtime zoo employee.  She began her career at the Montgomery Zoo in October, 1994 as the Marketing and Public Relations Director and was promoted to Assistant Zoo Director of Administration in 1998 before becoming Deputy Zoo Director in 2001. Marcia is originally from Ohio where she received her bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Management from Youngstown State University.  Marcia worked for a manufacturing corporation in North East Ohio as the International Marketing Director for 10 years before relocating to Montgomery Alabama. She is a member of Zoological Association of America and sits on the conference board and participates in many animal management programs.

“Because of her long term service and understanding of zoo management, Marcia was the logical choice to lead the Zoo following Doug’s retirement,” Scott Miller, Director of Leisure Services said. “Under her leadership the Montgomery Zoo will continue to grow and build on the legacy Doug leaves behind,” he went on to say.  Mayor Todd Strange added, “Under Marcia’s leadership, I am confident that the Montgomery Zoo will continue to be one of the top attractions in the state and be an important part of the fabric of the City of Montgomery.”

Marcia expressed great gratitude to Doug when asked about his legacy and dreams for the zoo. “When an idea was planted in his mind about a new project, he was determined to find a way to make it work.  Doug loves the Montgomery Zoo and it definitely shows,” Marcia said.  She went on to say, “Doug leaves a lasting mark throughout our zoo, my goal as Director is follow in his footsteps and ensure the Montgomery Zoo continues to grow and provide enjoyment for our visitors for years to come.”

Doug was presented with the Montgomery Zoological Society’s Golden Egg Award and a lifetime membership to the Zoo at a retirement celebration on April 26, 2018 at the Mann Wildlife Museum.  The Golden Egg Award is the Society’s highest honor bestowed to an individual or organization. Recipients have dedicated multiple years of service, commitment, and loyalty to making the Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum a fun-filled, affordable, educational attraction and zoological facility for children and adults alike.  Golden Egg Award honorees have created a legacy of responsible stewardship, animal conservation, education, and preservation to be shared with the River Region community and the world.  

Past recipients include Jack Galassini, Leon Hadley, Larry Stevens, Bob Robinson, Sr., Hobbs Foundation, Dottye Hannan, Rita Sabel, Mrs. Jean Weil, Mayor Emory Folmar, Mayor Bobby Bright, and Betty Brislin.

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