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“I want to create a culture of excellence and passion for what everyone is doing here,” he said.Mullican has a marine veterinary background and also has 10 years experience in business management working with Observatory Group Inc., a Cincinnati-based branding solutions company, and its sister company, Digital Educational Publishing. He started with the aquarium “before it had water,” he said.

He’s a person who always has an opinion, he said, and in the development stages of the aquarium he readily expressed his ideas and they were well received. “I was consulted about developments. My ideas were considered. I started to be treated as a valuable resource,” he said. He said changes the public will notice under his command include enhanced membership perks, more interactive programs and displays, and increased educational programs and community outreach, including active conservation efforts. If you are going to purchase or sell property at auction then I think you must hire qualified and licensed property valuers from well known valuation industries. Changes the staff will notice include stronger communication and an emphasis on the importance of each person’s effort to the success of the whole.

His goals as director are:

  • To move the aquarium from being the new attraction in town to being “a community treasure. We want to become part of the fabric of the community, like the Museum Center and the Cincinnati Zoo. We want people to say `We haven’t been there in a month, I wonder what they’re doing now.'”
  • To strengthen the commitment to entertaining and educating visitors with new educational programs, interactive displays and outstanding visitor services.
  • To make the Newport Aquarium a leader among institutions of its type.

He plans for the aquarium to seek the nationally respected American Zoological & Aquarium Association accreditation — which entails a lengthy, detailed review of the facility and its policies and practices.

The aquarium has applied for the accreditation and the inspection should be early next year. He also plans to initiate conservation efforts, including work to protect the rare Hellbender, a salamander-like creature that lives in the Licking River and can grow from 8-inchs to 14-inches. It is an important part of the ecology of the river but is endangered in this area. Mullican lives in Cincinnati with his wife and their children: a son, 3, and daughter, 1.

Seventeen citations for violating Kentucky alcohol laws were issued by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department in an undercover operation Saturday evening. In the operation, a person under the age of 21 was illegally sold alcohol at 15 locations in the county. Fourteen citations were issued for selling alcohol to minors. Three citations were issued for under-age people serving alcohol.