One day after the Riverside Discovery Center board in Scottsbluff announced the departure of its new executive director, it appointed one of its former zookeepers as interim director.
Desiree Drane-Davison, whose professional life has mostly been with the National Park Service, will serve until a permanent director is named.
Board President Taylor Copas said Thursday that Hawk Buckman was leaving after 2 weeks because his skill set and leadership style weren’t a match for the RDC.
A written statement from the full board on Friday said the members were grateful for Drane-Davison’s enthusiastic “offer of assistance to step in as the interim director” because of how important the position is to the Discovery Center and the community.
The search for a new director began in November when Anthony Mason stepped down after nearly 6 years to relocate to Florida so he could spend more time with family and to pursue other passions.
It was a double blow to the Discovery Center because making the move to Florida with Mason has his spouse Alex, the zoo’s Head Keeper and Education Curator.
The board says it will use a committee approach in the search for a permanent executive director.
The process is expected to rely heavily on the AZA, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, but the board emphasizes that it’s open to the right local, passionate, and business-minded individual.