Siddall leaving Aquarium


Gary Siddall is leaving the Aquarium of Niagara for the Buffalo Science Museum where he will be President and CEO.

Siddall, currently president and CEO of Aquarium of Niagara, will assume his new role in leading the Buffalo Museum of Science and Tifft Nature Preserve on Feb. 5, 2024.

“It’s an exciting time for the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences as we make significant strides to realize the potential outlined in our ambitious strategic plan that will broaden our impact within the community,” said Keith Lukasik, chair of the BSNS board of managers and co-chair of the executive search committee. “Gary is a proven leader in the cultural realm and has demonstrated an ability to grow and transform a cultural organization within Western New York. His tenure at the Aquarium of Niagara has been nothing short of exceptional, and his humble and down-to-earth demeanor is emblematic of his servant leadership mentality.

“We as a board are confident that he is the right leader at this important moment to build upon our rich 162-year history and to guide the organization toward continued success.” Jessica Copeland, vice-chair of the BSNS board of managers and co-chair of the executive search committee, added, “Our board recognized that the organization needed a leader that could maintain the momentum achieved by previous leadership and serve as a force-multiplier for our exceptional staff and leadership team.

“We partnered with a leading search firm that conducted a comprehensive five-month-long national search that generated more than 30 potential local and national candidates. Gary stood out by demonstrating a deep admiration and respect for the Society, as well as an informed and innovative perspective on how to further advance the organization and its mission for the betterment of the Western New York community.”

“While Gary has been instrumental in setting the Aquarium up for success and unprecedented growth over the last several years, his vision in creating a true Niagara Falls destination is one that has been shared by the entire organization, including the staff and board,” said Christine Lorenz, chair, Niagara Aquarium Foundation board of trustees. “Our search will prioritize a candidate capable of providing steady leadership and bringing the Aquarium’s bold initiatives to fruition and continuing this momentum now and well into the future.”

The Aquarium’s staff has had no turnover in recent years and will be filling in until new leadership is in place.

Siddall has been with the Aquarium for 20 years, beginning his tenure as a volunteer and advancing through the Aquarium’s zoological department. He began serving as the deputy director in 2014 and was appointed to his current role in 2016 by the Niagara Aquarium Foundation board of trustees.

During Siddall’s tenure, the Aquarium received its first-ever accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the team collectively executed a full-scale revision of the Aquarium’s master and strategic plans and $15 million in capital improvements, which includes Great Lakes 360 opening next year.

“I’m honored by this appointment to serve as president & CEO of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences and to build upon the organization’s history of strong leadership. I am inspired by the Society’s well-established efforts to connect the community to science and nature, and I look forward to leading Society team members at the Buffalo Museum of Science and Tifft Nature Preserve in their efforts to cultivate a new generation of citizen scientists and inspire appreciation for our diverse, natural world,” said Siddall. “I feel incredibly confident in the Aquarium’s leadership and board of trustees and their ability to bring the organization’s bold vision for the future to reality.” Siddall’s last day with the Aquarium will be Jan. 31, 2024. The search for his replacement will commence immediately and more details regarding an interim appointment and search committee will be announced soon.

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