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Riverbanks’ President and CEO Receives National Recognition

For Immediate Release: September 17, 2013

Krantz Praised by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for Esteemed Career

[Columbia, SC] — Satch Krantz, president and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, has been named the 2013 recipient of the prestigious R. Marlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Established in 1978, the Marlin Perkins Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a zoo professional by the AZA. Only one recipient may be honored in any given year; and since the award criteria are so lofty, only 20 winners have been recognized in the last 35 years.

"I feel honored to be recognized with a tribute of this magnitude,” said Krantz. "I have been very fortunate in my life both professionally and personally; I am humbled to be counted among the previous Marlin Perkins Award winners. They are an extraordinary group of individuals.”

According to AZA, in order to qualify for consideration, a candidate must unquestionably demonstrate impeccable character and hold a distinguished record of honorable service to the Association throughout his or her career; be strongly committed to education, conservation, science, recreation and the welfare of animals; and be actively involved in furthering these causes through outstanding contributions to the zoo and aquarium profession.

For nearly four decades, Krantz has guided the growth and development of South Carolina’s largest gated tourist attraction and one of the top zoos in the nation. Under his leadership, Riverbanks is continuously recognized as a leader in wildlife conservation and is an influential participant in more than 70 of the AZA’s Species Survival Programs.

A native of Columbia, Krantz began his tenure at Riverbanks in 1973 as curator of mammals. He was promoted to executive director (now president and CEO) in 1976, making him the longest serving zoo director in the nation.

In addition to leading the pack at Riverbanks, Krantz has served as president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and has twice served as president of the AZA—one of only three American zoo directors to serve a leading position in both professional organizations.

"The fact that his peers called on him twice to lead is a testament to his knowledge and his vision, not just for Riverbanks, but for all zoos and aquariums,” said Jim Maddy, president and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. "No one has taught me more about zoos and aquariums than Satch and it’s also fair to say that no one has a clearer vision of what they can achieve in the future.”

Additional information on the Marlin Perkins Award including a list of past recipients can be found at To view a video of Krantz’s history, please visit