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County Executive's Office

County Executive Parisi Recognizes Zoo Director Jim Hubing for Decades of Service to Dane County

October 03, 2011
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858
County Executive

Hubing Will Retire This Month After 28 years of County Service


Dane County Executive Joe Parisi today recognized Jim Hubing for decades of service to Dane County.  Hubing will retire this month after 28 years of county service, most recently as Director of the Henry Vilas Zoo for 11 years.  As Director, Hubing led the zoo through dozens of renovations and upgrades, enhancing the family experience for hundreds of thousands of Dane County residents and visitors who attended the zoo each year.  Before becoming Zoo Director, Hubing served as the county’s head of the Department of Administration.


“In the last 11 years Jim Hubing has transformed the zoo we know and love for the better.  Jim’s vision and guidance has made our free zoo a nationally recognized facility, known as a leader in animal conservation and education efforts,” said Parisi.  “I can’t thank Jim enough for his service to our county and our residents.”


As Zoo Director, Hubing led a number of successful improvements to the zoo, often by reaching out to the community to find private donors, and by working with the Friends of the Zoo.  Notable projects such as the upgrade of chimpanzee and orangutan habitats; new tropical rainforest aviary and American prairie exhibits; and an extensive renovation of the Henry Vilas Children’s Zoo, complete with renovated animal exhibits, a new play area, carousel, train and train station, were completed during Hubing’s tenure. 


Zoo improvements and promotion during Hubing’s time as director helped the zoo grow it’s attendance from 300,000 visitors to 700,000 visitors.  Hubing’s focus on innovation at the zoo also led to the implementation of several conservation measures and energy efficiencies, bringing down the zoo’s annual operating costs, inspiring conservation among visitors, and reducing the zoo’s carbon footprint. 

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve Dane County’s residents, most recently as Zoo Director,” said Hubing.  “I’d like to thank the county, its residents, communities, and visitors, for all the terrific support they have given the Henry Vilas Zoo over the years.  I look forward to volunteering at the zoo long into my retirement.”


Deputy Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz will serve as Interim Director for Henry Vilas Zoo following Hubing’s retirement. 

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