The Executive Director is appointed by the Board of Directors on an as-needed basis.
Daryl Hoffman, Executive Director
Members of the Board of Directors are popularly elected by the EMA membership, and each member serves a three-year term. Board officers are elected by the Board of Directors at their annual end-of-the-year meeting.
Tripp Gorman, President
Cecil Jackson, Jr., Vice President
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Elephant Manager
Cecil has dedicated his 41-year career at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG) to maintaining the highest standards of care in captive elephant management, focusing on the welfare and safety of both the animals and his staff. He began his zoo career as a seasonal keeper, working in various areas of CZBG, including the Children's Zoo, hoofstock, primate, and elephant departments. It wasn't until 1983 that Cecil started down his path with elephants as a full-time keeper. After establishing himself as a dedicated elephant keeper, Cecil was promoted to the position of Head Elephant Keeper in April 2000, which entailed managing the five Asian elephants in the zoo's collection. Shortly thereafter, Cecil was appointed to Elephant Manager, which earned him the responsibility of overseeing the daily husbandry, enrichment, training, and other aspects of elephant care. Cecil is proud to follow in the footsteps of many dedicated CZBG professionals, including his father, an animal trainer at the Cincinnati Zoo for 50 years.
To further his knowledge of caring for elephants, Cecil became a member of the EMA in 1988 and he is currently a member of the Ethics Committee. Cecil has attended numberous EMA conferences since 1988, participated in the Principles of Elephant Management I & II courses, participated in the EMA Training Workshop, and presented papers at EMA.
The last few years have seen a lot of change in elephant care and management, and Cecil as Elephant Manager has led his team and elephants through this change with great success. Significant achievements include: successful transition from free contact to protected contact, implementation of a formal operant conditioning program with three cows and one bull elephant, expansion of the elephants' enrichment program, development of formal exercise programs for all elephants, and the initiation of the Elephant Welfare Initiative to track and monitor changes in elephant well-being. Overall, Cecil has successfully led CZBG's elephant program to meet and surpass evolving elephant management standards; his practical experience and historical perspective are highly valuable to the future of elephant management in zoos.
Cecil is proud of the program his team and the elephant care community have made in recent years and looks forward to continuing to guide the field forward as part of EMA's Board of Directors. Aside from his professional passions, Cecil is an avid bluegrass performer and enjoys spending time with his family on their 100 acres of land.
Amy Mathews, Secretary
White Oak Conservation, Elephant Collection Manager
Amy has worked with exotic animals for over 15 years, spending the majority of her time with elephants. In her career, she has worked with several multigenerational herds and gained invaluable experiences from her current and previous institutions. Amy joined EMA in 2015, in which time she assisted with the planning and facilitation of the annual conference, served as an associate editor and columnist for JEMA, and fulfilled the role as the chair of the Behavioral Enrichment Committee, where she established the comprehensive enrichment database. She firmly believes in EMA and its ability to harness individual passions and experiences towards a common goal.
Having directly worked with over 40 elephants at all life stages throughout her career, Amy would consider herd management and staff development to be her two favorite aspects of the job. Having a front-row seat to "the lightbulb moment," whether it be an animal or keeper, is the most rewarding part of her job. Amy looks forward to collaborating with others in the elephant community to further enhance elephant care, management, and welfare.
Ellen Wiedner, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM (LAIM), Dipl. ACZM, Dipl. ECZM (ZHM)
Members of the Executive Committee are appointed on an as-needed basis by the Executive Director and the Board of Directors. Executive Committee members are past EMA Board members and help to guide the mission-focused actions of the organization.
Mike has been working with elephants for 20 years and in the zoo field for 30 years. Having started his career working around the zoo in all other animal areas, Mike always found the elephants more interesting than any other species because of their intelligence and because of the opportunity to learn more about behavioral modification and conditioning. After spending a lot of time watching the elephant team in action, Mike was given the chance to join the team.
Mike joined the EMA in 2004 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2008, where he immediately got involved in the Legislative, Nominations, and Communications Committees, with which he is still involved today. In 2013, he was elected EMA President and served until his term ended in 2015. Mike has also served on the Ethics Committee since 2014 and has been on the Training Committee since its inception.
For Mike, his favorite part of the job is getting to see people and elephants work together to learn and grow. "Seeing an elephant or someone that I have trained being successful in their environment is the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced."
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Jill has been working with elephants since 1996. Highlights of her career include the births of six calves to date−including the first and second African elephant calves in the world born through artificial insemination−and the development of a multigenerational breeding herd. Over the years, Jill has served the EMA in various roles including Membership Chair, Publications Editor, Board Member, and President. She is grateful for the people she has met and worked alongside, and the opportunity the EMA provides to network and exchange ideas, all with the common goal of providing the very best care for the elephants we love. Jill is honored to have been appointed to the Executive Committee in 2018, and she looks forward to working with the Board of Directors and continuing to learn from and share knowledge with the membership.