Tribute to Ted Beattieby Senator Richard J. Durbin
Posted on 2015-12-07
DURBIN. Mr. President, I wish to take a few moments to
acknowledge Ted A. Beattie, president and chief executive officer of
the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL. Earlier this year, Ted announced
that he would be retiring from the world's largest indoor aquarium in
The Shedd Aquarium is home to 32,500 fish habitats and attracts more than 2 million people every year. It is an educational and cultural treasure in Chicago--and the most popular family and tourist attraction in the city.
Under Ted Beattie's leadership, the Shedd Aquarium was Chicago's top attended paid cultural attraction for 17 of the last 21 years, welcoming more than 33 million guests. It is an extraordinary accomplishment. After a 35-year affiliation with Shedd, Ted is leaving this beloved institution in good shape. Since joining Shedd in 1994 as the third president and CEO in the aquarium's history, here are just some of his many accomplishments: Ted developed and opened six permanent exhibits, only the second expansion since the aquarium opened its doors in 1930. He created eight special exhibits, the latest being ``Amphibians,'' opening next May, and established the Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research, which has grown to include 18 global field research programs. Ted also oversaw the addition of Shedd's onsite animal hospital and lab facilities housed in the A. Watson Armour III Center for Aquatic Animal Health and Welfare.
Throughout his time at Shedd, Ted Beattie demonstrated an exceptional ability to engage and inspire the next generation. As president, Ted opened a teen learning lab, a free, collaborative space for teens-- developed by teens--to enhance critical thinking skills while exploring environmental interests and science.
Prior to joining Shedd, Ted Beattie served as director for both the Knoxville Zoo and Fort Worth Zoo and held positions at the Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo and Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. During his tenure as president of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, AZA, he spent 15 years teaching management courses as part of AZA's professional management schools and received AZA's highest award for professional excellence--the R. Marlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence.
Time and time again, Ted found creative ways to get around obstacles and make good things happen for Shedd and other zoos and aquariums across the country. I know this is not the final chapter for Ted Beattie. He will continue to be a passionate advocate for conversation and educational initiatives through the Penny Beattie Leadership Fund, a professional development scholarship program established in honor of Ted's late wife.
I congratulate Ted Beattie on his distinguished career and thank him for dedicating a large part of his career to the Shedd Aquarium and the people of Chicago. It has been a pleasure to support his work, and I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life.