Saint Louis Zoo names leaders to direct zoo, new north campus efforts

ST. LOUIS – The Saint Louis Zoo announced the promotion of Michael Macek, MBA, and Jo-Elle Mogerman, Ph.D., to the role of Saint Louis Zoo Director and Saint Louis Zoo North Campus Director on Wednesday.

Macek and Mogerman will both report directly to Jeffrey Bonner, Ph.D., and Dana Brown, president and CEO.

“The Saint Louis Zoo is known for providing world-class animal welfare, performing cutting-edge conservation science and research, and providing exemplary visitor experiences,” Bonner said. “Michael and Jo-Elle are proven leaders that will help the Zoo continue to excel at these efforts as we move forward.”

Michael Macek Saint Louis Zoo Director (photo Ray Meibaum/Saint Louis Zoo)

In this new role, Macek will provide the overall vision, leadership, and support to the Zoo and its core zoological and operational activities. Animal Health, Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences, Nutrition, Education, Conservation and Audience Research and Evaluation, Facilities Management, Business Operations, Animal Collection, Saint Zoo WildCare Institute (WCI), and the Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine (ICM) departments will all report to Macek.

A Chicago native, Macek came to St. Louis in 1990 from the Brookfield Zoo. Over the last 29 years, he has moved from Zoologist to Curator of Birds to Chief Operation Officer (COO) to, now, Saint Louis Zoo Director. As the Zoo’s COO, in 2016, Macek was responsible for the Zoo’s Research, Education and Animal Health Departments. Additionally, he helped manage WCI and ICM.

Macek earned his bachelor’s in zoology and chemistry from Eastern Illinois University and his master’s in business administration from Loyola University-Chicago.

Jo-Elle Mogerman (photo Saint Louis Zoo)

Mogerman will be leading the Zoo’s new North Campus, a 425-acre property located in North County in the City of Spanish Lake. In addition to the North Campus, Mogerman will also lead the operations of the Conservation and Animal Science Center, as well as the public attractions that will connect people with nature and animals. In her new role, she will be overseeing the creation and development of the new attraction for the St. Louis community and tourists.

Also a Chicago native, Mogerman will leave Shedd Aquarium, where she served as the vice president of Learning and Community since 2017, to fill this new role. As the vice president, she oversaw the vision and strategic direction for all learning and community programs. Prior to Shedd Aquarium, Mogerman spent 14 years at Brookfield Zoo.

Mogerman earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Macalester College and her master’s degree in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota. She holds a doctorate in biology, which she received from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

“Michael and Jo-Elle have pivotal roles in this planning process, as well as in our core zoological and operational activities,” Bonner said.

Bonner shared that he is looking forward to working with Macek and Mogerman, especially in creating and maintaining “synergy” between the Zoo and new campus, as well as the Zoo’s overall conservation efforts worldwide.

“The next 18 months or so are incredibly important as Zoo leadership works on its long-range plans for the Zoo and the new property in north St. Louis County,” he said.

With Mogerman’s new role, as well as other recent promotions, the Zoo’s executive staff is now at 10 people. This includes the following:
Dr. Jeffrey P. Bonner, Dana Brown – president & CEO
Michael Macek – director of Saint Louis Zoo
Dr. Jo-Elle Mogerman – director of Saint Louis Zoo North Campus
Cynthia Holter, CFRE – senior vice president of External Relations
Cassandra J. Brown Ray – chief financial officer
Stephen E. Barth – vice president of Special Projects
Dr. Luis Padilla – vice president of Animal Collections
Dustin Deschamp – vice president of Internal Relations and General Counsel
David F. McGuire, AIA, William Bernoudy – vice president of Architecture and Planning
Jim Madison – vice president of Business Operations