National Aviary appoints interim director to permanent post
Though the National Aviary's last two directors had strained relationships with members of the nonprofit's board, the woman hired to lead the bird zoo insists that she has a good working relationship with them.
“I think it's very positive for the future of the aviary,” said Cheryl Tracy, who becomes its new managing director and chief operating officer on July 1.
The North Side aviary announced on Wednesday that it is removing Tracy's interim executive director tag — about a month after the 21-member board of trustees voted unanimously to hire her on a permanent basis.
Tracy, 49, replaces Patrick Mangus Jr., whom the aviary fired in November after he clashed with the board. Mangus took the top job after Linda Dickerson abruptly resigned in 2009. Tracy joined the aviary six years ago as chief financial officer.
The aviary would not disclose how much she will make in her new position. Mangus earned $124,621 in 2011, according to the aviary's most recently filed tax Form 990.
“Based on the … job that Cheryl was doing as the interim, it was sitting right there in front of us,” said board Chairman Michael Mascaro, who declined to comment on friction with past directors.
Tracy of South Park is a Penn State University graduate and certified public accountant with more than 20 years of business experience, the aviary said.
Membership and the number of educational programs have increased under Tracy, said Mascaro, who said the board did not see any other candidates for the job.
Tracy said admissions, gift-shop sales and membership are up 20 percent over a year ago.
Tracy said she has filled three key management positions — directors of marketing and animal programs and grant writer — that had been vacant since last summer.
The aviary also has added new programming, promoting different bird species and events such as eagles and falcons weekends, as part of general admission, Tracy said.
The aviary also is trying to promote itself as more than a regional attraction by highlighting its advanced avian medical program and its conservation and field research department, she said.
“We have over 500 birds, and they are all unique and they all have their own stories to tell. … So we're always looking for new and creative ways to tell their stories because our birds are really the ambassadors for their species,” Tracy said.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bubble soccer bounces its way into Western Pa. sports venues
- Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
- Since 1969, Pine resident Fitzgerald’s garden has flourished
- Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
- Stocks bounce back from big losses to close relatively flat
- Pirates acquire Soria from Tigers
- Fashion FYI: RAW: Pittsburgh showcase features over 40 artists
- Turkey aims guns at Kurdish rebels
- Passing the illegals buck
- Confirm Judge Restrepo
- Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment