Bill Street has been a passionate leader within the non-profit and for-profit attractions, zoology, education, and conservation sectors for the past 30 years. He is currently the Senior Vice President at the Indianapolis Zoo. In this capacity, he has been responsible for the well-being of the 10,000+ animal living collection and botanical garden, the government affairs program, the cultivation of donors and Board members, and the conservation and education efforts of the zoo. Within his first year, he secured $9M in funding to create the Global Center for Species Survival, a partnership between the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission and the Zoo. Indianapolis Zoo is one of the largest private non-profit zoological institutions in the country that does not receive city, state, or federal government operational support. Its annual attendance is more than 1.3 million visitors.
Before coming to the Indianapolis Zoo, Bill was Corporate Curator of Conservation and Education at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment (SEA), one of the largest zoological institutions in the world. SEA includes three SeaWorld parks (Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego), two Busch Gardens (Tampa, Williamsburg), Discovery Cove and several water parks, with an annual attendance of more than 20 million visitors. In that capacity he was responsible for the conservation and education efforts of the company, including most revenue generating efforts of the zoological departments, supporting new exhibit design and development, consulting and developing with conservation and governmental partners and developing the strategic and business plans for the zoological departments. Bill also was the Executive Director of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, the non-profit private foundation supported by the company which has given over $20 million in grants to conservation and education organizations. He was a leading member of the design team for several capital projects at Busch Gardens in Tampa, SeaWorld in Orlando, and the new SeaWorld Abu Dhabi project. He was also the host of Adventure Camp, a children’s television series on the Discovery Channel.
Bill’s career also includes the role of Senior Director of Education at the National Wildlife Federation, and leadership roles at several significant aquariums including the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. He served as an adjunct professor teaching marine mammalogy at California State University. Bill holds an undergraduate degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, and a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida.
He has held the position of co-Chair of the Trends Committee and currently sits on the Government Affairs and Wildlife Conservation Committee for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. He has been Treasurer/Secretary of the International Zoo Educators Association, and currently is on the Board of Directors for the North American Association for Environmental Education. He assists and consults with zoological facilities on how to increase guest experience, revenues, and design new attractions. He is considered a subject matter expert on how organizations should address controversy and teaches courses on leadership, governance, trends and guest experience to zoos and aquariums worldwide.
Bill’s family includes Candace, his wife of 22 years, India and Carley, his two adult daughters, and a homestead of cats, dogs, chickens and bees. In his free time, Bill is an avid gardener and fisherman and is restoring his 100-year-old home in Indianapolis.