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(Thurs., Dec. 16, 2010)—Mayor Peter Carlisle today introduced new Honolulu Zoo Director Manuel Mollinedo, who began leading the facility this week.

            “Manuel Mollinedo’s wealth of zoo and park managerial experience and his clear love for animals is sure to benefit Honolulu,” Carlisle said. “Our zoo is incredibly important to our community, our children, and our visitor industry, and I’m very confident that we are placing the care of our treasured animals in good hands.”

As executive director and president of the San Francisco Zoological Society from 2004 to 2008, Mollinedo oversaw operations, strategy and financial performance of the San Francisco Zoo, the largest zoo in Northern California. During his tenure, visitor attendance increased to its highest point in 25 years, and the zoo’s financial condition was greatly strengthened through better management practices and increased philanthropic donations.

Mollinedo was among 8 applicants evaluated by an independent selection panel that included Mitch D’Olier, President and CEO of Kaneohe Ranch; Sam Hoffman, former  Corporate Director of Marketing for
Outrigger Enterprises Group
; and Timothy Johns, President,
Director and Chief Executive Officer
of the Bishop Museum.

He has also served as general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks; director of the Los Angeles Zoo; director of the Austin, Texas Parks and Recreation Department; director of the Chula Vista, California Parks and Recreation Department; chairman of the California State Parks and Recreation Commission; superintendent of the Long Beach, California Parks and Recreation Department; director of the Alhambra, California Human Services Department; and in other park and recreation leadership positions.

Mollinedo was born in Los Angeles and earned bachelor’s degrees from California State University, Los Angeles, in Recreation Administration and in Anthropology. He also earned a master’s degree in Recreation Administration there, and earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.