SB 30 Episode 42: Building a better Zoo, with new Memphis Zoo CEO Jim Dean

“Before I ever got here I thought a parking garage would be a great solution. And I know a lot of people in town have thought the same thing. We want to be very careful about what we do in Overton Park and with the Zoo, but there’s new technology, things become more affordable in terms of what can constructed – a lot of people are working on these solutions, Mayor Strickland’s team is working hard – and we’re hoping to get that garage built… without paving any of the Greensward.”

That’s Jim Dean, almost a year into his job as CEO of the Memphis Zoo, talking to host Mark Fleischer about new solutions at work to resolve zoo parking issues that have been a source of friction for almost five years. The Memphis Zoo and its leadership team is one of the recipients of this year’s Mojo of Midtown Awards, for taking the zoo in a new direction that is “bringing back the roar back to a Midtown landmark.” It is the largest and oldest institution in Overton Park, and with their new direction – which includes “hitting the pause button” on parking plans that would have paved 2 1/2 acres of the Greensward – supports the overall health and welfare of Overton Park as a whole.

Join host Mark Fleischer for this candid conversation with Jim Dean as he talks about Midtown and his return to Memphis after a 40-year absence, and about the future of the Memphis Zoo under his leadership. 

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