National Aviary fires its director

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The National Aviary fired its executive director, Patrick Mangus, on Thursday following a Wednesday board meeting.

Board President Tony Bridge said Mr. Mangus' management style was at odds with the board, but he declined to elaborate. Mr. Mangus was not at the aviary Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Bridge said that the board "determined that the organization would benefit from a change in leadership. We had differing opinions about how the organization should be managed."

A source close to the aviary, who asked not to be named, said Mr. Mangus was aware of the board's displeasure for some time and that his style rankled some employees. Mr. Mangus served the aviary from 2007 to 2009 as chief operations officer.

During his three years as executive director, Mr. Mangus oversaw a $17.5 million expansion of the North Side institution that added an interactive theater, roof deck for outdoor shows, a large classroom, a new entrance and lobby, Penguin Point and exhibit renovations. A renovation of the gift shop also was recently finished.

During a September interview, Mr. Mangus said the aviary -- which the city almost closed 20 years ago, prompting it to go private -- has not had a deficit since 2009.

Cheryl Tracy, the aviary's chief financial officer, is serving as acting director until the board replaces Mr. Mangus.

"We are looking for someone with background in zoology and ornithology," Mr. Bridge said. "We'd like to find someone as soon as possible, but we have no specific timeline."

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Diana Nelson Jones: or 412-263-1626.


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