NIAGARA FALLS – The Aquarium of Niagara on Monday named Gary Siddall as its new executive director.
Siddall has been with the aquarium for the past 10 years, serving as deputy director for the past two years under Gay Molnar, who retired April 1.
As deputy director, he supervised the aquarium’s marine mammal care, exhibits, education and maintenance departments. Previously, he was the aquarium’s supervisor of marine mammal care.
Siddall supervised three capital improvement projects budgeted at approximately $1 million, including the Outdoor Rescue Harbor Pool, redesign of the first-floor exhibits and structural improvements throughout the building.
Board President Richard Torcasio said, “Hands down, Gary Siddall was the best candidate. Gary has been with the aquarium for 10 years and in many supervisory roles and he knows every facet of this organization. More important, he has demonstrated remarkable strategic leadership in all of his areas of responsibility. Gary is admired by everyone on the staff and board and respected by leaders in aquariums and zoos nationwide.”
Siddall said he was very excited about the opportunity to take the helm of the growing organization, which has an annual budget of more than $2 million and a mission that centers on education and conservation. But he said he also wants those who visit to have a good time, watching the sea lion show for example, which will encourage them to learn more about sea lions.
“I’ve been involved with the aquarium in a lot of different capacities, but this is a very exciting time in the aquarium’s history to be in the executive director role. We’ve got more projects than we’ve ever had before and we’ve got the largest staffing and largest budget we’ve ever had,” Siddall said. “We’re going forward full throttle.”
Siddall has a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from SUNY Buffalo State and is pursuing a master’s degree. He is a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He also serves on the board for Niagara County Community College, where he is an adviser on animal management.