Patrick Lampi.

Patrick Lampi has been with the Alaska Zoo for the past thirty-three years. He got his start working nights as a zookeeper in 1986 when the zoo was much smaller. "The thing I liked about [that time] is the zoo would close at 6 p.m., even in the summer... so for the last few hours of the day it was just me at the zoo with the animals. It was very relaxing." Lampi was promoted to curator in 1993 and to his current position of executive director in 2005. Being executive director is "not so zen," he says laughingly, but interesting and important nonetheless.

"The zoo wouldn't be here without the community. It's a private nonprofit, but it's a community zoo It's not just the city of Anchorage, the whole state is involved. We've taken in animals from every comer of the state and we've had kids come from every corner of the state...It's a real pleasure to be a part of this team and watch it grow and evolve. It will be very interesting to see where it goes."

Alaska Business: What do you do in your free time? Patrick Lampi: In the summer I like to play a little golf, fish, hike. In the winter, a little cross-country skiing, but I also tike to work on my arts and crafts too.

AB: Is there a skill or talent you've always wanted to learn or are learning?

Lampi: I would love to learn to play a musical instrument. But I just really don't have any talent. I learned to play the harmonica once and I learned two songs. I went on a long hunting trip with some very good friends and I think on the second day they told me I better not pull out the harmonica because they didn't want to hear those songs ever again in their lives [he laughs].

AB: What's the most daring thing you've ever done?

Lampi: Probably something here...

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