In just three years, being director and CEO of the Detroit Zoo got a lot more lucrative.
Ron Kagan’s compensation increased by 162 percent from 2011 to 2014, driven mainly by six-figure contributions into his deferred retirement account the last two years, Jennifer Chamber of The Detroit News writes.
He received $292,644 in 2011 compensation: a combination of a base salary, bonus, deferred retirement and other reportable income, records show.
By 2014, the total reached $767,824, primarily b[osted by a $348,824 contribution toward his retirement, an amount that is nearly equal to his base salary that year of $357,791, The News reports.
The zoo offers retirement benefits for key executives to attract and keep qualified leaders, it explains.
His bio on Linkedin says:
Ron is an advocate for compassionate conservation, animal welfare, and humane education. He has worked at and consulted for numerous zoos and aquaria over the past 35 years and lectures at universities and conferences worldwide. Ron has authored scientific and policy papers in journals, encyclopedic entries and book chapters on museum and zoological subjects.
Kagan created, co-wrote and produced ten internationally award-winning conservation and welfare documentaries and established both the Berman Academy for Humane Education and the Center for Zoo Animal Welfare. He has led the development of award-winning facilities including a Gorilla Conservation Research Center, the “Wilds of Africa”, the "Wildlife Interpretive Gallery" (exploring the relationship between humans and animals over time and in different cultures), the National Amphibian Conservation Center, the “Arctic Ring of Life” (largest Polar Bear facility in the U.S.), the Ford Education Center, the Wild Adventure Simulator (a motion-based cabin simulator that builds empathy for other species as people experience life through animals' eyes) and the Polk Penguin Conservation Center.