Zoo trustees pick Hutchinson as interim chief

September 25, 2007|By Liz F. Kay

Trustees of the Maryland Zoological Society have selected former Baltimore County Executive Donald P. Hutchinson to serve as interim president and chief executive officer of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, zoo officials said.

Responsibilities for Hutchinson, now president of Hutchinson Consulting, will include managing the zoo and evaluating its finances, as well as helping to find his permanent replacement.

Hutchinson, who was county executive from 1978 to 1986 and a Democratic state senator and delegate before that, also served as president of the Greater Baltimore Committee for nine years and president of SunTrust Bank's Maryland division for five years.

He takes the place of Elizabeth "Billie" Grieb, who will end her five-year tenure as president in December. Grieb, who announced in June that she would resign, said she plans to spend more time with her family.

At the time, she said she was happy to step down after the zoo received money to offset a $3 million deficit. Zoo officials said state officials increased funding during this fiscal year by $2 million. Baltimore added an additional $200,000, and Baltimore County added $50,000.

Zoo officials have had to make tough choices because of fiscal realities. To cut costs, they decided not to add three more African elephants as planned earlier this year and also chose to close to visitors during January and February.

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