Release Date: August 27,2020

Akron Zoo Elects First Woman as Chair of Board of Directors

AKRON, Ohio – On Monday, Aug. 24, the Akron Zoo Board of Directors voted Michele Santana to its top position. It’s the first time in the 40-year history of the zoo’s board for a woman to hold the chair position.

Santana is the Chief Financial Officer of Majestic Steel USA, Inc. She joined the Akron Zoo’s Board of Directors in 2015, where she served on the executive and capital campaign committees. Santana is an accomplished business leader in the Akron community who has worked diligently to help the Akron Zoo achieve its mission to connect the community to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action.

“The Akron Zoo is a community gem that not only provides memorable experiences for families and friends but also serves to educate, enrich and provide
economic returns to the greater Akron area,” said Santana. “I am truly privileged to serve in this role for the Akron Zoo alongside my other Board colleagues.”

“We are excited to work closely with Michele Santana in her new role as chair of the board,” said Doug Piekarz, president & CEO at the Akron Zoo. “I am to looking forward to partnering with her to continue to move the zoo forward in the coming years.”

The Akron Zoo is now open. Current hours are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and admission is $8 per person. Children under two are free and parking is $3. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. For more information visit or call (330) 375- 2550.  

Founded in 1953, the Akron Zoo is a non-profit, world conservation zoo with over 1,000 animals from around the world. Located just west of Downtown Akron, the zoo strives to connect your life to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action. The Akron Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.