Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) Riverbanks Zoo and Garden announced the promotion of an existing employee to be the new leader of the award-winning zoo and gardens. Thomas K. Stringfellow was promoted to president and CEO. Stringfellow is only the third executive to oversee the Zoo in the 43 years it’s been in existence in our area.
Stringfellow has most recently served as Riverbanks’ interim president and CEO following the retirement of Palmer “Satch” Krantz III in June. He began his career at the Zoo and Garden in 2002 as director of marketing and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2011.
“I am exceedingly grateful for this opportunity and especially proud to lead Riverbanks as president and CEO,” said Stringfellow. “The Zoo employs a knowledgeable, driven, and dedicated staff each of whom I’m excited to journey with as we build upon Riverbanks’ past successes and continue to grow the Zoo as a global leader in conservation, education, science, and recreation.”
The announcement comes as Riverbanks boasts another record-breaking attendance year. The Zoo and Garden welcomed 1,389,856 guests during the 2016-2017 fiscal year—besting the previous record of 1,280,911 visitors set during the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
Prior to his leadership roles at Riverbanks, Stringfellow directed the sales and marketing efforts at various theme parks including Paramount Parks’ Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags Whitewater Water Park and American Adventures Family Entertainment Center and Six Flags Great Escape and Water Park in upstate New York.
Stringfellow is an active member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Winthrop University.