Aug 17, 2023 - Business

Audubon CEO Ron Forman to retire

Photo shows Ron Forman in a suit standing in front of the elephant fountain at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans

Ron Forman is the CEO of Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans. Photo: Courtesy of Audubon

Ron Forman, CEO of the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, is retiring after 50 years with the organization, the organization announced Thursday.

  • Leaders say they will begin a national search for the next CEO before Forman steps down at the end of 2024.

Why it matters: Audubon Nature Institute operates several of the city's most popular attractions, including the aquarium, zoo, Audubon Park and Woldenberg Park along the Mississippi River.

What he's saying: "With his vision and leadership, Ron helped turn a once shameful animal ghetto into one of the top zoos in the country," said Willard Dumas, chairman of board of the Audubon Nature Institute.

Zoom out: Audubon's other properties include the insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center and Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network.

  • Earlier this year, Audubon unveiled its $34 million renovation to the aquarium that moved the insectarium into the same building.
  • Now Audubon is focusing on a $30 million project called Riverfront for All. If approved, it would convert the Governor Nicholls and Esplanade Avenue wharves into open-air spaces that can host community events.

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