Daniel Lundquist, director of marketing and Development at ZooMontana, issued the following press release after a meeting Thursday of the zoo's board of directors:
After attending another Board of Directors meeting at the Zoo and still not hearing a viable short and long term plan for maintaining and improving the conditions of the animals, keeping staff and my family, I am making plans to leave the zoo.
I moved my family from Texas, hired to develop a viable plan and capital campaign for the long term success of ZooMontana. The Board approved the plan I proposed and I went forward with fundraising efforts including meeting with community leaders and pursuing grants. However, once the winter financial problems came to light, the project was placed on indefinite hold by the Board and I was instructed to focus on immediate funding needs. I did so, in part through the partnership of TownSquare Media and Livin' Large Larry in February when we hosted "Freezin' for a Reason."
Present brainstorming discussions for long term financial stability of the zoo have not included my involvement in the proposal I was hired to facilitate.
I wanted to thank those people in Billings who have supported the Zoo during my time here. As stated months ago, I issued a conditional letter of resignation based on the short and long term plans and support of the board. Like the past 15 years of the Zoo's History, no substantial action has taken place in 2011 addressing this matter. In order for the Board of Directors to find a suitable replacement, I will be departing ZooMontana by early June. My understanding is that the Board intends to keep the Zoo open regardless of the AZA accreditation decision and subsequent consequences. I wish the residents of Billings all the best.
Director of Marketing & Development