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Schmidt joins National Aquarium

Dale SchmidtDale Schmidt has joined the National Aquarium as senior vice president and chief operating officer.

As a member of the Aquarium’s senior leadership team, Schmidt will be responsible for capital planning, exhibit development, guest services, safety, food services, facilities maintenance and retail services.

Schmidt has more than 30 years of experience working for accredited zoological organizations. He served as president and CEO of the Columbus Zoological Association; president and CEO of Oregon Coast Aquarium; executive director of Clearwater Marine Aquarium; and vice president of operations of The Florida Aquarium. He has also worked in operations for such organizations as John Shawn Productions, Inc.; Universal Studios Florida; and Busch Entertainment Corporation.

Schmidt, who recently served as chair of the Business Operations Special Committee for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, received a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from the University of South Florida. He also completed a leadership program at the Stanford Nonprofit Management Institute and served as vice chairman of the Zoo and Aquarium Committee for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.