Entertainment Park Veteran Manny Gonzalez Is Thinking Big On Metrozoos Behalf As He Begins Zoological Society Tenure
Written by Miami Today on January 31, 2008
After opening a Six Flags amusement park in Mexico and transforming the Columbus Zoo into an entertainment complex, Manny Gonzalez says he’s ready to take his marketing expertise and boost Miami MetroZoo attendance and funding as the new head of the Zoological Society of Florida. He was tapped in December to replace longtime President and CEO Glenn Ekey.
The zoo’s 600,000-visitor annual attendance falls "in the middle" of zoos nationally, Mr. Gonzalez said, with the country’s top 10 zoos seeing more than 1 million in attendance a year.
But he aims to set MetroZoo apart as "the best zoo in the world" by increasing attendance, developing water and theme parks, hotels and family centers, and by "having the most innovative educational programs, the most impactful conservation programs and the best animal collection." To support the zoo, he aims to raise $25 million within five to seven years and $100 million within 10 years.
Mr. Gonzalez was interviewed last month — only two weeks into his new post — at the MetroZoo by Miami Today staff writer Risa Polansky. This is an excerpt from the weekly profile article published in Miami Today. To read the entire article in full, order this issue or subscribe to the print edition of Miami Today.