Media Center

The following information is provided for members of the media compiling information for publication. Other uses are not permitted. Please credit Riverbanks Zoo and Garden for all uses.

If you need additional information or wish to request an interview with any Riverbanks Zoo and Garden staff member, please call the PR Department at 803.602.0840.

Media Pass Policy

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will issue a complimentary park admission ticket to any reporter or photographer working on assignment.

In addition, the park will issue up to four (4) complimentary tickets to full-time media personnel who want to visit the park for a leisure visit Sunday through Friday.

These passes are limited to four per person during regular park hours. Complimentary passes will not be issued for after-hours special events.

We are aware that some newspapers, radio stations and television stations prefer that their personnel not accept complimentary passes. We respect this policy and will gladly refuse passes to your personnel if you so indicate.

Media Pass Procedures

Any member of the media will be issued up to four tickets the day of their visit. Media should bring a business card, or if they do not possess a business card, a letter on station letterhead signed by their manager confirming their full-time status and stating their job title. In addition, media should bring photo identification with them the day of their visit. Media must show BOTH pieces of identification at the admission booth to receive the complimentary tickets. Guest Services representatives will collect the business card/letter of employment as proof of your visit.

There is no longer a need to fax a request for tickets or call prior to the visit.

Please remember that because they are our busiest days, we are unable to accommodate leisure visits on Saturdays.

As always, a reporter on assignment need not worry about obtaining a media pass but is required to schedule an appointment by calling the communications specialist directly at 803.978.1126 or 803.603.2325. Thank you for your interest in Riverbanks. We look forward to assisting you on your next story.

Information Sheets

General Park Information: (PDFs)

Animal Fact Sheets: Fact Sheets for many of the animals exhibited at Riverbanks are located in the Animals section of the Web site. View each individual exhibit for a listing of animal fact sheets from that exhibit.

Highlights: (PDFs)

Overviews: (PDFs)

Executive Biographies

Palmer “Satch” Krantz
President & CEO

Satch Krantz began his career at Riverbanks in 1973 and has served as its director since 1976, making him one of the longest serving zoo directors in the nation.

One of only three American zoo directors that have served as president of the both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums, Krantz also was the first zoo director to serve two presidential terms for the AZA since WWII.

Krantz has received numerous accolades throughout his career. Most recently, Krantz was awarded the prestigious R. Merlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence. Established in 1978, the Marlin Perkins award is the highest honor bestowed upon a zoo professional by the AZA. Other honors include the Global Vision Award by the World Affairs Council, the International Ambassador of the Year Award by the Committee of 100, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Regional Cooperation from the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and Clemson Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award.

Krantz has been heavily involved in the community Riverbanks serves. He is a past president of the board of Palmetto Richland Children’s Hospital and the Columbia Rotary Club. He has also served as president of the Clemson University Board of Visitors and the University of South Carolina University Associates and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the River Alliance, the Children’s Hospital and the AZA.

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Krantz is a graduate of Clemson University. He and his wife Becky are the proud parents of two grown sons.

Tommy Stringfellow
Chief Operating Officer

Tommy Stringfellow is a 35-year veteran of the attractions industry. Currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer for Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, SC, Tommy is responsible for marketing, guest services, facilities and IT.

Prior to joining Riverbanks, Tommy was the Director of Sales and Marketing for Six Flags over Georgia Theme Park, Six Flags Whitewater Water Park and American Adventures Family Entertainment Center. There he was responsible for generating over 3 million annual visitors and generating 12 million in admissions and sponsorship revenue.

Earlier, Tommy was the Director of Sales and Marketing for Six Flags Great Escape and Waterpark in upstate New York. In addition to his theme park responsibilities, he directed the sales and marketing efforts for three hotels and two restaurants that were owned and operated by the Six Flags Company.

Tommy laid the foundation for his career working for Paramount Parks, Inc., which owned and operated five major theme parks and several prototype themed attractions. He climbed through the ranks in park operations management positions to Director of Sales during his tenure with Paramount Parks.

An active member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, Tommy is a graduate of Winthrop University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing. He has recently served terms on the Marketing Advisory Committee for AZA and both the Columbia Metropolitan of Conventions and Visitors Bureau and Atlanta Convention and Tourism Board.

Tommy is a native South Carolinian and is married with two sons and one daughter.

Steve Hatchell
Chief Financial Officer

Steve Hatchell began his career at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in December of 2013. Serving as Chief Financial Officer, Steve oversees the Zoo’s accounting, procurement and human resources departments.

Hatchell came to Riverbanks with more than 20 years of finance experience in the private sector. Prior to joining the Zoo’s senior management staff, he served as Corporate Director of Finance for Longs Drugs; the pharmacy chain operates 20 stores in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Earlier, Hatchell was controller for Total Comfort Solutions, a Columbia-based commercial HVAC company.

Hatchell supports and is an active member of several local and statewide organizations. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for LRADAC (the prevention, intervention and treatment provider in Lexington and Richland counties). He also has served on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands as well as the ALS Association of South Carolina.

A Columbia, South Carolina native, Hatchell is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. He and his wife have two children.

M. F. “Phil” Bartlett
Chair, Riverbanks Park Commission

M. F. “Phil” Bartlett has actively served on the Riverbanks Park Commission, representing Richland County, since November 2009. Prior to becoming the Chair, he served for two years as the Commission’s Vice Chair and member of the Finance committee. Before his appointment to the Commission, Phil and his wife worked weekends as Riverbanks volunteers.

Bartlett has been a professor at the Moore School Business since 1999. He has also instructed courses for Southern Wesleyan University and Limestone College. In addition to being a professor he works as a mentor with the Center for Entrepreneurial & Technological Innovation at USC.

Bartlett retired from the State of South Carolina in 2012 from both the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine and from his previous 18 years of service in law enforcement. He honorably served on both active and reserve duty in the US Army.

Bartlett is an active member of the Columbia Rotary Club, Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity and the Blythewood Masonic Lodge. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of South Carolina, Wesleyan University and Webster University.

Learn more about Riverbanks Park Commission.

Chris Goodall
President, Riverbanks Society

Chris Goodall is the Vice Chairman of Aflac Group Insurance. He previously served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Continental American Insurance Company (CAIC), which was acquired by Aflac in 2009. Prior to CAIC, Goodall was a partner in a Columbia law firm.

In 2013 Governor Haley appointed Goodall a Commissioner for the SC Housing Development and Financial Authority. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Wofford College, AFLAC Group, Pawmetto Lifeline, Riverbanks Zoo, Souper Bowl of Caring, Country Club of Sapphire Valley and Jubilee Academy.

He previously served on the ETV Commission and as director of Providence Hospital, BB&T Columbia Board, Hammond School Board, SC Association of Life Insurance Companies, CAIC, USC School of Medicine Partnership Board and the South Carolina Business Leaders Group.

When not in Columbia, Goodall and his wife Linell spend their time in the mountains of North Carolina.

Learn more about Riverbanks Society.

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