July 22, 2021

Moving from Vision to Reality


In our work, we do a lot of plans – strategic plans, master plans, governance plans, business plans. After we are done, we often wonder how and even if they’ll get implemented. Well, this week, I had the privilege of seeing a big payoff of planning.

I visited one of our very first clients, the Potawatomi Zoo, in South Bend, IN. Over the last ten years, we helped them move to a new public private partnership, develop a strategic plan, and envision a new master plan. Out of that came big bold ideas – a new entrance and gift shop; expanded education; and new exhibits for animals like giraffe. We knew they required new thinking and big dollars.

Turns out with forward thinking leadership, persistence, and community support, big things can happen. The Zoo opened its brand-new entrance last year with a stunning gift shop. They completely renovated an old barn into a creative education space. They created offices that would be the envy of many, and they are well underway with a multi-million dollar giraffe exhibit that will include both indoor and outdoor feeding opportunities. I left thinking one word – WOW!  It was amazing to see the on-going transformation of the Zoo and what they are now offering its community.

We’re proud to have been there at the start and can say ‘we knew them when.’ I’m confident that this is just the start and more wow-inducing improvements are ahead for the Zoo. Congrats to the entire Zoo team for making all of this happen.

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Dr. Frederick Lahodny

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