Mario Lawrence, formerly the curator and assistant director of Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in Thurmont, Md., took over the Reston job in June, CEO Eric Mogensen announced.
Mogensen said Lawrence’s “expertise in the overall operation of Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo, including daily administration of all departments, and his enthusiasm to move our organization forward translates into exciting changes for the Zoo and our community.”
At Catoctin, Lawrence was responsible for managing all aspects of operations, including supervising staff, animal care functions, guest relations, special events, directing special fundraising initiatives and representing Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo at many service organizations.
He has also worked for Wild Adventures Theme Parks in Valdosta, Ga., Alligator Adventure in Myrtle Beach, S.C, and the Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge, Va.
Reston Zoo has been in the news lately because of USDA complaints against the Gulf Breeze Zoo, a Mogensen-owned zoo in Florida. Eric Mogensen responded to those charges in a Reston Now Op Ed last week.