TULSA, OK -- As the Tulsa Zoo moves toward a potential private management structure, the newly formed not-for-profit organization Tulsa Zoo Management, Inc. has elected its board officers and named a transition coordinator.
Serving as president will be Phil Lakin, Robert Thomas as vice president and Stacy Kymes as secretary/treasurer.
According to a Tulsa Zoo news release, Tom Baker, former Tulsa Fire Department chief and city councilor has accepted the position of transition coordinator for the organization.
"Baker's skills and experience are unmatched in Tulsa," said Phil Lakin, TZMI president, "Tom is a lifelong Tulsan who is uniquely qualified, having served as deputy mayor, fire chief, and city councilor. His experience and his forward-thinking attitude will help ensure a smooth transition that will pave the way for much-needed stability and growth at our Tulsa Zoo."
The City of Tulsa will still retain ownership of the Tulsa Zoo and Tulsa Zoo Management Inc. will oversee and direct the day-to-day operations.
Baker says he is eager to see the Tulsa Zoo move toward.
"The Tulsa Zoo is truly a significant part of what defines the quality of life of Tulsa and even surrounding communities," said Baker. "I am grateful to be part of this exciting time in zoo history and look forward to working with the TZMI board and staff to maximize opportunities to improve the zoo experience for guests and to ensure the Tulsa Zoo will be a place for its employees to prosper while doing the jobs they love."
Board officials say they will be working closely with Baker to effectively move Tulsa Zoo privatization forward.