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.
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, human resources, 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 generating12 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.
Mr. Earl Brown, Jr.
Chair, Riverbanks Park Commission
Mr. Earl Brown, Jr. has served as a member of the Commission since October 2007 and most recently held the office of vice chair for the 2010-2012 term. During his two-year term as chair, Brown is responsible for guiding the Commission when making business decisions regarding the Zoo and Garden – including improvement, maintenance, staffing and operations.
Brown brings an extensive leadership history to his new position. In addition to his work for the Commission, he is an active member of numerous other organizations including the Columbia Rotary Club, Columbia Urban League, NAACP, National Teachers Association, Richland County Airport Commission and United Way of the Midlands.
Brown currently works as Deputy District Director for the Honorable Joe Wilson, Member of Congress for the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. He retired in February 2002 from the State of South Carolina where he worked for 27 years at the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission. During his tenure with the agency, Brown served as Executive Assistant for External Affairs, Director of Community Relations and Director of Compliance and Investigations.
Brown holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Savannah State College, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Benedict College and a Master of Criminal Justice degree from the University of South Carolina.
Other Commission members taking office this year include Mr. Phil Bartlett as vice chair, Mr. Bud Tibshrany as secretary and Mrs. Mary Howard as treasurer.
Jeffrey T. Reeves
President, Riverbanks Society
Jeff Reeves has served on the Riverbanks Society Board since January of 2010 and is currently serving his second term. He is a Senior Vice President for Wells Fargo Bank in Columbia, South Carolina. As a 24 year veteran of the financial services industry, Jeff is the Senior Relationship Manager for the Midlands market. His portfolio of clients includes public and private entities operating in a wide range of industries, including non-profit organizations.
Jeff is a graduate of Wofford College. In addition to his service to Riverbanks Society, Jeff is active with numerous other organizations, serving as the Chairman of the Festival of Trees, Treasurer of Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital board, and the Legislative Affairs Committee for the SC Chamber of Commerce.
Jeff is married to Amy Reeves. They have 4 children Clay, Austin, Hayden, and Gavin.