President’s Corner – July 2023


Greetings, ADPAers,

Welcome to the Summer issue of your Bottom Times newsletter. We have a lot of updates and important information to share with you in this issue, and I am thankful for the Communications Committee keeping up their hard work to ensure the information pathways of The Association remain strong and well-organized. This issue provides an update on the Board’s work at the midyear meeting (below), a recap of Professional Development Week (way to go PDC!), information on our newest member and Corporate Partner benefit – the Deep Dive Series, and initial 2023 Symposium and Training Day information, to name a few. We also are putting out a call for service for those who may be able to help The Association with our logo, and I look forward to sharing that with you as well. 

In June, Wonders of Wildlife hosted your Board for the annual midyear board meeting. The Board spent two days meeting to conduct the business of The Association that included review and management of all committee work, strategic plan of the Board’s term, and planning of the 2023 Symposium. I am humbled to share that your Association continues to see growth and success thanks to the tens of members offering their time and energy. The strength of The Association is in its membership, and is felt both by the support and tools available to you to help administer your respective programs through your membership benefits, as well as by our members volunteering their time to support the ADPA.

On behalf of the Board, thank you to Lauren Larese and her team for a wonderful space to conduct the business of The Association, a tour of the incredible Wonders of Wildlife, and true hospitality and warmth for our time in Springfield, Missouri. This is our second year opening up the opportunity to host the Board for its midyear meeting and it’s an enjoyable way to connect the Board to the members while also conducting the business of the ADPA. If you are interested in hosting, I encourage you to reach out to a Board member, and look forward to seeing this program continue.

St. Louis ZooI must also recognize Rick Smith of the St. Louis Zoo and Cole Drake of the St. Louis Union Station Aquarium. Your president-elect Andrew Solomon and I reached out to Rick and Cole to ask if they would like to connect while we were nearby for the midyear meeting in Springfield, Missouri. Both the St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Union Station Aquarium are beautiful institutions with great DSOs, and the opportunity to learn something each time you visit a facility is hard to pass up. St. Louis Aquarium at Union StationConsider reaching out to a fellow member when nearby or traveling. It’s an invaluable way to connect with one another, maybe see something that can help you with your program, and is a unique opportunity to enjoy time with a colleague in a new place. Thank you, Rick and Cole!

The Symposium and Professional Development Committees are hard at work ADPA’ers. This will be our first symposium in New Orleans, Louisiana, and it is sure to be a good one. If you have multiple members attending that are also going to DEMA, look into the DEMA membership. It saves a generous amount of funds if you have more than one person attending, while also showing DEMA the strength of zoo and aquarium dive programs through membership representation. Like 2022, this year we will be moving forward our schedule one day to accommodate DEMA’s shift. Be sure to plan on Sunday for Training Day and Monday for our Symposium and Networking Event. This is also a gentle nudge to be sure you have your memberships active and meet application deadlines (October 1st) for new members to be eligible to attend.

Lastly, it’s an election year ADPA! The work of your Association relies on volunteers, whether on committees, the Board, or out in the community. It is truly a worthwhile and memorable experience. Reaching out to a Board member if interested in serving is a great way to learn more. 

Have a safe, enjoyable, and productive summer, ADPA’ers, and I hope to see you in New Orleans!


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