In addition to the new exhibit, Pate is also keenly aware of the economic impact the zoo has on the Omaha metro area and state. Restaurants, hotels and other businesses all benefit from a great zoo. Children in our community also benefit, the zoo is home to a fulltime school which encompasses nine school districts. In 2018, the zoo’s educational programs impacted more than 90,000 children.
Pate has also proven to be a huge advocate for animal conservation around the world and has elevated the zoo’s role in contributing to those efforts. Pate currently serves on the board of the Diane Fossey International Gorilla Fund and has served on the board of directors of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums – completing a term as chair in 2015. He also served as chair of the Accreditation Commission of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and served on the board of directors of the National Elephant Center in Florida.
During the OMA Tourism Awards celebration, Pate will be honored alongside eight members of the hospitality community. OMA Tourism Awards is a tri-county partnership with Visit Omaha, Sarpy County Tourism, and the Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau. The awards celebrate front line employees and volunteers who go above and beyond to make the Omaha metro area a great tourism destination.
The Tourism Hero was selected by the OMA Tourism Awards Organizing Committee representing all three counties. Winners in the other categories are chosen by an independent group of judges representing each county. Tickets to the event can be purchased at OMATourismAwards.com.