Steven Schindler, Executive Director, Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Executive Director, Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Steven Schindler is executive director of Birch Aquarium at
Scripps, the public exploration center of world-renowned Scripps Institution of
Oceanography at UC San Diego. Schindler, a San Diego native and graduate
of San Diego State University, brings extensive for profit and nonprofit marketing
and business administration experience to Birch Aquarium. He joined the
aquarium in June 2014.
Schindler served until recently as senior vice
president and chief marketing officer for the National Aquarium, where he
combined a deep passion for conservation with his expertise in brand building
and marketing. During his tenure, National experienced year-over-year increases
in reputation and revenues, largely due to Schindler’s focus on improved
customer experience and expanded community engagement efforts. Schindler’s team
launched Dolphin Discovery, which replaced shows with presentations celebrating
the intelligence and social structures of Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, and
opened Blacktip Reef, a $12.5 million 250,000-gallon exhibit representing the
diversity of an Indo-Pacific reef.
Schindler was previously president and creative director of
an advertising and brand development firm specializing in the hospitality
industry. He subsequently co-founded an Internet start-up in content
aggregation before joining a publicly traded online media firm as its vice
Schindler was a mayoral appointee to Visit Baltimore’s board of directors, previously served on the San Diego Tourism Authority’s community relations committee, participates at the national level with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and brings considerable knowledge of organizational development, communications, membership, community relations, and fundraising to Birch Aquarium at Scripps.
Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Birch Aquarium at Scripps features more than 60 habitats of fish and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and beyond. The aquarium features an interactive museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, Earth, and ocean science. Accredited by AZA, Birch Aquarium has an annual attendance of more than 400,000, including 40,000 school children.