The Louisville Zoo Says Goodbye to Great Friend and Supporter
On January 14, 2015 the Louisville Zoo, along with the entire community, lost a great friend and leader Jim King.
Since 2003, Jim represented the Louisville Zoo’s Metro Council District, District 10. In this role, as well as in his role as Metro Council President, Jim was a tireless supporter of the Louisville Zoo, which he considered to be one of the community’s crown jewels. He was a regular fixture here, working to ensure that the Zoo was well-preserved, well-managed and maintained so that the nearly one million visitors annually had memories to last a lifetime.
Jim’s contributions to the Zoo are countless — he was instrumental in securing support for the Glacier Run Capital Campaign, funding the Trevilian Way boulevard redesign, as well as providing $500,000 in funding for the elephant encounter renovation, and leading a Metro Council funding drive to renovate several Zoo facilities. He helped design innovative capital funding mechanisms to help the Zoo through the recession and he hosted numerous fundraisers for the Zoo including Roarchestra and Zoofari, as well as helping sponsor our Halloween festivities.
Support of the Zoo was a King family affair. His wife, Debbie currently serves as a Zoo board member and recently completed her term as chair of the Louisville Zoo Foundation Board; and Jim was a strong advocate of Debbie’s leadership and support of the Zoo and our many programs and activities.
“Jim was an excellent public leader because he was able to balance the bigger vision for the entire community with the specific needs of his district, and he and his wife Debbie loved the Louisville Zoo and totally understood how valuable it is to the quality of place and economic development of the 10th District and all of Louisville,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
Always a friend to the neighborhood, Jim worked closely with our neighbors and the parks department in an effort to bring us all together for the single purpose of providing an incredible experience for our visitors.
Jim saw the real value of a place where people could experience the beauty of nature and animals in their glory — guiding new generations of school children, families, and out of town visitors to establish new and memorable experiences here. Next time you visit the Louisville Zoo, be sure to remember Jim’s many contributions. We will be forever grateful to him.