"We are at a Precipice of Zoo Evolution"

Some of you may have noticed that I have been been away for a while. I haven't been updating this blog as much as I'd like. Or, in fact, at all. I'm hoping that 2017 will bring with it a renewed dedication to the blog--and with that, a renewed connection with you, my reader. Several exciting things have happened since we've last talked. The biggest is my change in position at PGAV Destinations. I've been promoted to Director of Zoo & Aquarium Planning and Design; an honor I am humbled and invigorated by. As part of this position, I will be continuing to strategize our approach to the future of zoos and aquariums, as well as lead our efforts to spread into international markets. Both of these will likely trigger new posts as I continue to ruminate on the challenges and opportunities facing these beloved institutions.

The second biggest thing in 2016 was my small post in the world-renown Washington Post's Animalia blog. Again, I was honored to be included as an expert in the field, considering the future of zoos. If you missed it, take a look here.

The third biggest thing in 2016 is simply the start of something bigger, I hope, to come. PGAV in general has been working in China for many years, but we recently made the strategic and mission-based decision to specifically target this market for zoos and aquariums. I intentionally use the word 'mission' as we believe, not only is this market significant for our long-term business development as a firm, that the work there is a reflection of our values as a firm. We deeply believe in making a positive impact on the world with our work, and helping to shape the future of society's relationships with animals is exactly that. In China, as with many things, society's view of animals is evolving quickly. We know the impact zoos and aquariums can have on that view, and in shaping people's understanding of personal responsibility in saving the planet. Last year, we began a relationship with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens which will allow us to forge new relationships zoos and aquariums seeking education on animal wellness and visitor experience design.

2016 was a good year. Let's see what 2017 has in store for us...