Texas State Aquarium sees Jesse Gilbert as interim CEO

With over 21 years of experience, Mr. Gilbert shows great promise in the next aquarium transitions.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas State Aquarium board of directors has appointed Jesse Gilbert, the current senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Aquarium, as interim CEO.

Mr. Gilbert succeeds longtime President and CEO Tom Schmid. The appointment takes effect today, November 24, 2021. He has over 21 years of experience in executive and non-profit leadership, strategic business planning, crisis management, budget management and external partnerships .

He joined the Texas State Aquarium as an aquarist in 2003. Over the years, Jesse has served as an aquarist, senior aquarist, curator of fish and reptiles, director of breeding, vice president, chief operating officer and senior vice-president.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and marine and field sciences, a master’s degree in fisheries and mariculture, and is currently working on a master’s degree in business administration. Jesse has served on numerous committees of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), including the Animal Welfare and Aquarium Affairs Committee, and he is currently the AZA Institutional Accreditation Inspector.

Jesse’s experience, commitment to the Aquarium’s mission and leadership have been essential to the success and continued growth of the Aquarium. He has led the Aquarium through many difficult times, including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Hanna, the pandemic and the mind-blowing cold event of February 2021, one of the most important conservation works of the world. Aquarium in 31 years of history.

“Jesse Gilbert is the perfect person to lead during this time of transition for the Texas State Aquarium. His extensive background in animal science and aquarium operations is what a leader needs for the Texas State Aquarium to continue its mission of engaging people with animals and inspiring appreciation of our seas and supporting the wildlife conservation. said Julio Flores, senior vice president of business operations and chief financial officer of TSA.

Jesse recognizes the essential role of the Aquarium in the economic development, education, conservation and rescue of the community’s wildlife, and looks forward to working with staff, partners and donors to expand the rescue program. of the fauna of the Aquarium.

He will oversee the completion of the Aquarium’s new Corpus Christi Harbor Wildlife Rescue Center, which will report to the Texas State Aquarium’s Institute for Wildlife Conservation. The rescue center is expected to open in the fall of 2022.

Jesse aims to improve educational opportunities in the community and promote workforce development at the Aquarium. Jesse is an assistant professor in the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Department of Life Sciences and promotes graduate student research at the Aquarium, including coral conservation efforts and shark investigations in Corpus Christi Bay.

“The future of this organization is bright,” TSA Acting CEO Jesse Gilbert said. these programs are reaching their full potential. “

The Aquarium and its mission are in good hands.

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