Vice Chair - John Zendt

John Zendt, Vice Chair

CEO/President, Moody Gardens

Elected to the Board in 2013
Current Term Expires in 2019

John Zendt has over 30 years of management experience of in the hospitality industry. He was named President and CEO of Moody Gardens in December 2009. He was hired as General Manager in May 1997. With his hospitality management skills and training, he played a crucial role in the opening of the 303-room Moody Gardens Hotel in 1998 and the Aquarium Pyramid in 1999. He currently oversees all operations at the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center, Moody Gardens Golf Course as well as the attractions, including the $25 million enhancement project at the Rainforest Pyramid and Palm Beach following Hurricane Ike in 2008. 

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This was followed by a complete renovation of the Moody Gardens Hotel and the introduction of the world’s first 4K 3D Giant Screen 6 Primary Laser Projection System at the MG 3D Theater. In 2014, John was responsible for the creation of the ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants attraction in an effort that brought the best construction crews, engineers, designers and Nickelodeon together with a world-renowned ice carving team from Harbin China for a highly unique family experience to complement the Moody Gardens Festival of Lights and further establish Galveston Island as a holiday destination. He recently managed the $39 million Aquarium Pyramid renovation project that was completed in May 2017.

Prior to his position at Moody Gardens, John’s experience includes Director of Operations, Hotel Galvez; General Manager, Harbor House at Pier 21; and Assistant General Manager and Catering Director at the Tremont House Hotel in Galveston.

Mr. Zendt shows distinction as he strives for excellence in his career, as well as through the numerous hours he devotes to his community. He has served as a board member for the Galveston County Restaurant Association, Past President of the Texas Restaurant Association, Rotary Club of Galveston Board, Texas Travel Industry Association Board, Galveston College Foundation Board, Galveston Hotel/Motel Association, Chairman of the Galveston County Health District, Salvation Army of Galveston County Advisory Board, Ronald McDonald House, the Galveston Park Board of Trustees Tourism Development Advisory Committee, Galveston Park Board of Trustees, Scholes Field Advisory Committee, End Hunger Network – Galveston, and the Boy Scouts of America Bay Area Council.