Detroit Zoological Society
  • Operations
  • Royal Oak, MI, USA
  • Salary
  • Full-time

Medical, Dental, Vision, 401K benefits, generous PTO

The Deputy Chief Operating Officer (DCOO) is responsible for managing all hands-on internal operational aspects of the Detroit Zoological Society and assists the Chief Operating Officer (COO) in the effective operation of the organization. The DCOO consults with the COO, Executive Director/CEO, the Executive Leadership Team and Senior Leadership Team in the performance of his/her duties.


Through a respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by the Mission of the Detroit Zoological Society, the DCOO represents the COO by providing the day to day internal leadership and management necessary to ensure that the organization has the proper operational controls, administrative, management and reporting procedures in place to effectively develop, maintain and ensure operating efficiency and strength.

Principal Duties:

Work as a strategic business partner with the Chief Operating Officer, Executive Leadership Team and Senior Leadership Team to operate the organization in an efficient manner.

  •  Provides day-to-day leadership and management that support the adopted mission, vision and core values of the Society
  • Influences and drives the operations to achieve and surpass operational goals and objectives.
  • Responsible for the oversight and effectiveness of all internal processes including regulatory compliance and accreditations. Provides timely, accurate and complete reports on the operating condition of the organization.
  • Spearheads the communication and implementation of effective strategies and processes.
  • Collaborates with the executive and senior management teams to develop and implement operational and strategic plans
  • Motivates and leads a high performance management team; helps to attract, recruit and retain members of the management team; provide mentoring as a cornerstone to management career development
  • Fosters a success-oriented, accountable environment
  • Represents the Society in a positive light with visitors, members and business partners

General Management:

  • Supervises and manages direct reports including, but not limited to: hiring, orientation, training and development, performance management and evaluation, salary actions, terminations and general employee activities and relations
  • Ensures that customer service/guest relations standards are met and exceeded to ensure the highest level of experiences for our guests
  • Serves on zoo-wide committees (as designated) and task forces and provides input on organization-wide issues, finances, special projects, and other pertinent topics
  • Provides a high level of leadership and example to the Senior Leadership Teams and to all employees
  • Promotes a team-based approach with responsibility, authority and accountability delegated and expected throughout the organization
  • Oversees the execution of internal projects and events including the development, implementation and execution of the Strategic and Annual Work Plans
  • Works collaboratively with ELT and senior leadership members to develop, implement and communicate necessary institutional policies and procedures


  • Support budgeting, financial planning, reporting, controls and related systems for areas of responsibility and ensure that these processes coordinate with the overall organization
  • Help to prioritize the management and use of funds to align with the vision, mission and strategic plan of the organization

Comminucations and Relationships:

  •  This position oversees and manages internal operations and relationships
  • Support the positioning of the Detroit Zoological Society as a successful recreational, educational, environmental, conservation and animal welfare leader
  • Champion the Detroit Zoological Society in a visible and credible manner both inside and outside the organization
  • Support the Detroit Zoological Society as guest service driven organization through all interactions and transactions


  • Work with Park Operations to ensure that the physical offerings of the organization meet the current and future needs of animals, guests and employees
  • Oversee all capital projects and new construction as necessary
  • Participate and contribute to the Detroit Zoological Society Master Plan as needed
  • Ensure that the maintenance and upkeep of the parks, buildings and amenities is sufficient to maintain operational excellence, aesthetics, ambiance and cosmetic acceptance.This job description is by no means all-inclusive and may be subject to change during a performance period due to the needs of the Detroit Zoological Society. This document will be reviewed on a continual basis and will be modified as needed.

General Responsibilities: The Deputy Chief Operating Officer will support the mission and principles of the Detroit Zoological Society. He/She will support and enhance a clean, safe, green, enjoyable, and educational experience at the Detroit Zoo facilities by actively engaging in the enforcement of Customer Service Standards, and specifically by knowing and understanding the Detroit Zoological Society's "SCOPE" of service, animal care, community relations and park appearance guidelines; by enforcing safety and security policies, and following all other policies set by the organization. The DCOO will maintain a professional manner when dealing with all constituencies and always preserve a high level of integrity, professionalism and confidentiality.

Physical Requirements: This position may require the individual to sit for long periods of time, attend long meetings and perform physical effort on a daily basis such as walking, bending, stooping and standing for an extended period of time. The DCOO must also be able to use the telephone and computer, must be able to lift and move up to 25 pounds and participate in on and off property events and meetings and must be able to communicate effectively. The individual must have the ability to perform the essential functions of the job satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.


The DCOO must be an experienced business professional with a proven track record as a leader and motivator. The DCOO must have proven leadership ability to provide enthusiasm, energy, motivation, direction, and successful implementation of policies, plans and programs for the organization. 

  • Bachelor's degree in business or related field.
  • Significant management experience as a DCOO or as an executive manager (10+ years)
  • At least five years in a senior management role
  • Significant experience in financial planning and analysis with previous experience overseeing multiple and diverse business unit departments
  • Proven ability in organizational development, personnel management, budget and resource development, and strategic planning
  • Successful experience managing a complex organizational and financial structure
  • Excellent people skills, with an ability to partner with a dynamic leadership team
  • Proven communication, leadership and relationship building skills
  • Proven ability to act as an advocate for the institution among various stakeholders
  • High standards, maturity standing as a visible leader with integrity and trust.
  • Flexible and able to multitask; can work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems
  • Goal orientation, high energy with comfort demonstrating a level of calculated risk taking tolerance and strong decision making ability. A consensus builder with strong one-way and two-way communication and listening skills who "leads the way" while considering others' points of view and counsel
  • Project management and construction oversight experience is preferred
Detroit Zoological Society
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