Friday, September 25, 2009

AZA Grants Accreditation To The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park

News Channel 34 related that the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “It takes hard work and a sustained commitment to excellence to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.”

To be accredited, the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park underwent a thorough investigation to insure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process in order to be members of the Association, and are required to resubmit to this process every five years.

The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park had lost its AZA accreditation in 2005. Shortly thereafter the Board of Directors of the Southern Tier Zoological Society decided it was vital to the survival of the Zoo that it again join the elite group of zoos accredited by the AZA. Current Executive Director Mike Janis was hired in 2006 bringing more than 25 years of experience as a zoo director to the post and making accreditation one of his primary goals. Since that time, the Zoo has raised over half a million dollars for new exhibits and programs including those for Binturongs and Lemurs as well as the new Wonders of Nature exhibit, opened in 2009, and features Snow Leopards, Cougar, Golden Lion Tamarins, Meerkats, Gila Monsters and other unique species.“

The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is proud to be back among those outstanding zoos and aquariums accredited by the AZA and will continue to strive to meet and exceed the high standards of this respected organization,” said Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park Executive Director Mike Janis.

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation in areas such as animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff, and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas. The inspection team prepares an extensive written report for the Accreditation Commission. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal Commission hearing, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

“The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is also a great place for people to connect with nature,” Maddy added. “Members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums support their schools and communities with science-based wildlife education programs that not only inform, but also inspire conservation action.”

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, the AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, please visit

Thursday, September 17, 2009

August unemployment in Binghamton at 8.2 percent

The Central NY Business Journal reported that New York's unemployment rate climbed to 9 percent in August, up from 8.6 percent in July, according to new data the state Labor Department released today.
August's rate was the highest since April 1983, according to the department. The state's unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in August 2008.
New York's private-sector job count fell by about 2,200 in August, less than 0.1 percent, to about 7.1 million.

In Binghamton, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent last month, down from 8.3 percent in July and up from 5.4 percent in August 2008. The city lost 3,500 private-sector jobs between August 2008 and 2009, a decline of 3.8 percent.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September Program Offered Key Info on Employee Motivators: Financial and Non-Financial

The SCNY ED Group held its September program on Tuesday the 15th. The program featured Daniel E. Bonsick, PHR, the Lead Ethics Officer & Manager of Human Resources at BAE Systems in Johnson City. Dan generously shared his knowledge and expertise. He also offered invaluable information about Financial vs. Non Financial Rewards. His presentation included how all of this applies in the real world, and he explored the clash of generations that many nonprofits are confronting.

If you weren't able to attend, Dan has offered his presenation. Click here. If you would like share your own ideas or feedback on this topic, post your comments here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Program Committee Notes

Program is set for 9/15/09. Program will be at Family Enrichment Network at 8:30 AM. Dan Bonsick currently Lead Ethics Officer for BAE (previously HR at Lourdes) will be presenting on “Non-Monetary Incentives and Awards or ‘How to make employees happy without a pay raise’.

December 8, 2009 session A 3 Year Vision of Community Funding
Diane Brown and Alan Hertel are both confirmed. United Way has offered to host the forum.

Reminders for Steering Committee –
Program Committee had asked that a new survey be compiled for what topics SCNYED members would like for next year. To be sent out in Sept. compiled and reported on at December meeting.

Also, do we need to do a new election of officers and/or solicit new membership on committees? When?