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Sheryl Kolasinski

Sheryl Kolasinski

Houston Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer

Sheryl Kolasinski is the Houston Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer and leads the business operations and facilities of the nearly 100-year-old cultural institution. In her role, she oversees capital projects, exhibit design, horticulture, admissions, membership, special events, sales, and facilities maintenance on the 55-acre campus. During her four-year-tenure at the Houston Zoo, Kolasinski has been instrumental in the development and construction of the most transformative projects in the Zoo’s history, including the Kathrine G. McGovern Texas Wetlands (2019), South America’s Pantanal (2020), and the under-construction Galápagos Islands (2022). Prior to her role at the Houston Zoo, Kolasinski served as the deputy director and chief operating officer for the Menil Collection and worked closely with the museum’s director on strategic planning as well as the implementation of the museum’s master site plan (2012-2017). Prior to Menil, Kolasinski was the deputy director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations where she managed the capital design and construction program, oversaw planning and preservation, operations and maintenance, and safety and security for 19 museums and galleries, nine research centers around the world, and the National Zoo (1995-2012).

Kolasinski has a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in art from Brown University. She is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a LEED AP.


12:00 to 12:10pm

Welcoming Remarks by Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie G. Bunch III

12:10pm to 12:40pm

Communities of Collaboration – Similarities Far Outweigh the Differences Matthew S. Miller

12:05 to 1:00pm

Art Crimes Timothy S. Carpenter

12:55 to 1:30pm

Déjà vu Delta…Reopening Strategies 2.0 Douglas Beaver

1:15 to 2:10pm

Promoting Exhibit Access and Safety: A Collaborative Approach to Collections Care Sam Snell Jeffrey Hirsch Cali Martin

1:30 to 2:25pm

Social Unrest – The Insurrection, January 6, 2021 Robert J. Contee III Robert Glover Jeffery Carroll

2:25 to 2:55pm

Learning from Climate Change, from Hurricane Harvey to Winter Storm Uri Sheryl Kolasinski

2:40 to 3:20pm

A Hybrid Security Model for Equity in Visitor Experience Jamie Gibbons Austin Sharpe Nick Haddon

2:55 to 3:25pm

Surviving Civil Unrest Ramey J. Kyle

3:35 to 4:25pm

Year in Review Robert (Bob) Combs

3:35 to 3:55pm

Shifting the Focus: Emphasizing Safety in Customer Service Trainings During COVID-19 Vanessa Herndon Andrea Lowther Tiffany Spriggs

3:55 to 4:20pm

Back to School – University Campus Safety Alignments with Cultural Protection Andrew Flagel

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