Staff Highlight – Rick Parker

Serving Smiles to Every Visitor

Rick Parker has seen a lot of changes at Potter Park Zoo since he started as a seasonal employee in 1981 and began working full time in 1987. One thing that has remained constant is Rick’s commitment to ensuring every guest’s visit to the zoo is the best.

Rick and his guest services team run concessions throughout the zoo. Feeding hungry visitors is a challenge Rick welcomes. He’s quick to roll up his sleeves and help serve hot dogs, French fries and other popular menu items anytime. He also oversees eight staff members who greet visitors at the admission gates.

The seasonal staff fluctuates from summer to winter, based on attendance. Rick considers this a part of his job. “I’ve always enjoyed working wiht young people,” said Rick. “I try to serve as a mentor or coach to staff.”

Being part of a great team, who really work together – almost like a family – that’s the reason Rick likes coming to work every day. And, “I get to work at a zoo. Who wouldn’t love it here.”