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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Zoo has officially announced who will be taking over as the new president and CEO.

Jim Dean has been elected to fill the position which is being vacated by current President and CEO Dr. Chuck Brady when he steps down later this month.

A University of Memphis graduate, Dean received his MBA from St. Louis University and has spent his entire career in the entertainment industry. He’s held positions at Busch Gardens, Sea World, Discovery Cove, Sesame Place and Visit St. Pete Clearwater.

“If ever there were an ideal candidate with the right mix of business experience and background to take the Memphis Zoo to the next level, it is Jim,” said Thomas C. Farnsworth III, chairman of the Memphis Zoological Society Board of Directors. “The Zoo is already Memphis’ highest attended attraction and has been ranked the “top zoo in the country” by two, independent surveys. With Jim’s background and vision, and building upon the work done by Chuck Brady in building the quality of animal experience and habitat during his years with the organization, the future of the zoo is very bright.”

Dean will begin in his new position on April 29.