December 2017 / Industry Profile

Greene is a real up-and-comer in the industry. She is a new board member of the Zoo & Aquarium Buyers Group (ZAG) and recently led a Las Vegas Market symposium and later webinar on how nonprofit retailers can cater to millennials, where she got to work with the MSA and AHVRP associations.
Peer Perspective: Melinda Greene, Kansas City Zoo

Melinda Greene

Retail Manager, Kansas City Zoo

Kansas City, Missouri

During the summer Las Vegas Market, You led a symposium on how nonprofit-location retailers can cater to millennials. What was that experience like?

I love putting myself in these positions, as it is not something I do often but takes you out of your element. I was able to help set the tone of the seminar but the group leaders from the other two organizations (Museum Store Association, Association for Healthcare Volunteer Resource Professionals) really listened to the people at their groups and did a great job sharing back with the whole group about what was discussed. I also really enjoyed working with Sarah Jones (of Las Vegas Market). She is funny, professional and just a delight and she was instrumental in helping me along the way to keep everything moving along. I look forward to the opportunity to lead more discussions on different topics and becoming a familiar face in the industry.

What are your top sellers?

Plush is our No. 1 seller; then toys, followed by apparel.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I enjoy most about my job is being the “Plush Animal Keeper.” It’s exciting and rewarding to work at the Kansas City Zoo and I feel as if I have learned something new every year either professionally or personally. In the retail department, we get to take those memories that guests have gained here and then sell them a memento to remember their trip by.

What is most challenging thing about it?

The most challenging thing about my job is just simply getting it all in! I really enjoy working with other departments to help them source items for an event or conference, etc. but, sometimes I feel as if I can take on too much and it can be hard to keep up with. I also tend to jump from one project to another. So, I have really been using a list system to get one thing done at a time and accomplishing that so I can have the rewarding feeling when I am able to cross something off from my “TO DOs.”

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, Michigan 49345
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