IWRC Board of Directors
Working for a Stronger Future
Our Board of Directors is dedicated and hardworking because, like our members, our work helps wildlife now and in the future. We believe in IWRC’s mission to provide education and resources for wildlife conservation worldwide. No pay, long hours, vital responsibilities and the requirement to personally cover board-related expenses such as travel. Such is the commitment of the IWRC Board of Directors.
President: Susan Wylie CWR
Susan Wylie is Executive Director of Le Nichoir, a wild bird conservation centre that delivers its mission through: professional and compassionate care of injured and orphaned wild birds and the development and delivery of environmental education programs for children and adults. Le Nichoir admits over 1500 birds annually representing over 100 species found in Quebec, Canada. Susan has been rehabilitating songbirds and aquatic birds since 2003 with her passion being the rehabilitation of insectivorous birds, especially Chimney swifts.
As Director, Susan is responsible for overseeing the Centre’s operations including establishing bird care protocols, organizing fundraising events and development planning, managing the Centre’s education coordinator, 6 bird care staff and 130 volunteers. Susan graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology, and is an environmental management technician. She feels strongly about promoting professionalism and integrating science into wildlife rehabilitation. Susan joined the IWRC board in 2008 and chairs the development committee.
Vice President: Amanda Kamps
Amanda currently resides in Wausau, Wisconsin where she serves as the wildlife rehabilitation/captive wildlife liaison for the State of Wisconsin. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with minors in Captive Wildlife Management and Conservation Biology and a Master’s degree in Wildlife from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Amanda discovered wildlife rehabilitation as an undergraduate student, and since then she has found numerous ways to stay involved in this field. She started as an intern one summer, which led to future internships, volunteering, and other employment opportunities in wildlife rehabilitation. In addition to wildlife rehabilitation, Amanda is particularly interested in studying wildlife health and disease. She strives to work within the wildlife rehabilitation community to promote networking and collaboration, encourage continuing education, and support research opportunities. She believes teamwork is an important key to success, and aspires to be a part of that team and encourage others to also promote and protect wildlife conservation. Amanda brings to the IWRC board her experience working with both a state agency and wildlife rehabilitators, and she will continue to encourage and support this collaboration.
Treasurer: Dani Nicholson
Dani was trained in bookkeeping and accounting in 1977. She has worked in wildlife rehabilitation since 2001. In addition, through her non-profit whose mission is education and advocacy for wildlife, she serves on an ad-hoc committee to modify the fish cleaning station in Avila Beach, as well as working on another committee to do the same in Morro Bay. Dani maintains an active 24 hour Hazwoper with OWCN and has worked on a few oil spills, and she is also on the Pacific Wildlife Care (PWC) Wash Team. Over the years, Dani's washed hundreds of birds.
Dani has held multiple board positions at PWC and is now President of Willow Tree Wildlife. She currently serves on the Marine Mammal Center (Sausalito) Volunteer Council as the San Luis Obispo Satellite facility representative. She works with the Lafeber Company as a liaison to the wildlife community and travels to conferences several times per year, visiting wildlife groups while traveling. She also take every bit of education she can.
Secretary: Kristen Heitman CWR
Kristen’s passionate connection to this field began in 1999. In 2002 she founded the non-profit, Providence Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc. In addition to her position as Executive Director, Kristen is fully immersed in patient care as a State and Federally licensed rehabilitator, specializes in waterfowl, and assists with the center’s conservation-based education outreach programs. Kristen attained CWR status in 2007 and has been an IWRC board member since 2013. She is current chair of the States and Provinces committee, former Symposium committee chair, and Membership committee participant. She was a founding board member, Communications Director, newsletter editor, and Education committee member of the former Indiana Wildlife Rehabilitators and Educators Network (IWREN).
President-elect: Adam Grogan
Adam joined IWRC's Board of Directors in 2011. Since 2000, Adam has been working for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in the UK as their Wildlife Rehabilitation Co-ordinator. In this capacity he advises on policy with regards to casualty wildlife and facilitates research into methods of rehabilitating wild animals and how these methods can be improved to aid survival of these casualties. The RSPCA has conducted a number of studies on the survival of such animals using methods such as radio-tracking and ringing to monitor the animals after release. He has a strong research background and has undertaken projects covering a range of species. These include a critique of available methods for monitoring rabbit populations and investigating the effectiveness of mitigation used to prevent otter (Lutra lutra), and other mammalian, road casualties. He has experience in surveying and radio-tracking a number of mammal species, including badgers (Meles meles) polecats (Mustela putorius), mink (Neovison vison) and water voles (Arvicola terrestris). Adam’s background therefore is based in mammals and his favourite mammals are otters. Adam is also Vice Chair of The Mammal Society for Britain and Ireland having previously served as Honorary Secretary and also sits on the Executive Committee of the British Council for Wildlife Rehabilitation (BWRC). BSc (Hons) MIEEM
Lloyd Brown CWR
Lloyd has served IWRC as a State Representative, a regional representative and then as a board member. He served as the membership director and conducted surveys of rehabilitators from around the world (asking what rehabilitators wanted IWRC to be for them and what IWRC could do to make them more likely to join). Lloyd developed and taught the first disaster preparedness class specifically for rehabbers and developed a database to assist rescuers in helping rehabbers after a disaster. Lloyd served in the US Army as a Paratrooper and is currently serving as a fire fighter, technical rescue technician and paramedic. He also has worked around the world on animal rescue and disaster relief projects for Vier Pfoten, IFAW, HSUS, HSI, Code 3 associates, and ASPCA. Lloyd feels that IWRC should be the leader in providing education and advocacy for rehabilitators around the world. Where there are currently no rehab operations, local people should be helped and educated to understand the value of native wildlife and to develop rehabilitation programs appropriate to their regions and the problems they face. Lloyd is currently a State and Federally permitted wildlife rehabilitator and runs a small rehabilitation operation in South Florida. He has been working as a rehabber for 18 years and rehabilitates native birds, terrestrial mammals and marine mammals (dolphins, whales and otters).
After building a career as a successful professional portrait artist (photography), Brooke Durham suffered a career-ending injury to her spine, with permanent nerve damage. Years of rehabilitation later, Brooke began volunteering large amounts of time with a large local wildlife rescue center, where she was able to forget her own physical pain as long as she was focused on helping these often-forgotten members of the animal community.
Working in a large wildlife rehab organization exposed Brooke to a huge variety of wildlife species (reptile, mammal, and avian) that call Southern California home. The most interesting, and fateful, of these animals were a pair of naturalized nestling wild Amazon parrot chicks. They were the inspiration for the establishment of SoCal Parrot – “A non-profit that exists to bridge the gap of care and consideration that naturalized parrots fall into because they are neither native wildlife nor truly domestic.” In 2017 Hurricane Harvey delivered a near-miss to the habitat of the last 2,500 or so remaining Green-cheeked (aka Red-crowned) Amazon parrots that call the Lower Rio Grande home, reiterating that the naturalized flocks of parrots in Southern California may one day soon serve as the genetic reservoir for this species.
In early 2017 Brooke was awarded the first new wildlife rehabilitation permit in the San Diego area in 25 years. She and her team are working hard to establish SoCal Wildlife to continue bridging gaps in care and consideration the field of wildlife rehabilitation. She considers her personal mission to be fostering better communication and collaboration within the field for the health and wellness of both wildlife rehabilitators and the animals we serve.
Brenda Harms is a retired attorney from Pelham, NY who has studied Fundraising at New York University. She is celebrating her own recently acquired “empty nest” by changing careers and becoming a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Brenda currently serves on IWRC’s Executive Committee as Secretary to the Board of Directors as well as being actively involved in the Fundraising and States & Providences Committees. She hosts the Board’s annual retreat and two-day Board meeting at her Shelter Island, NY second home.
Laurin is the Rehabilitation Director of Cascades Raptor Center, a wildlife hospital and nature education center specializing in birds of prey in Eugene, Oregon. She has worked full time as a wildlife rehabilitator since 2002, and as a volunteer for two years prior. Laurin is focused on individualized patient care and developing treatment plans that address stress reduction, force-free physical therapy, and pre-release conditioning through operant learning methods. She was fortunate to be selected to assist with oiled bird care in several of the Gulf state response centers during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill of 2010.
In addition to providing health and medical care for CRC's hospital patients, she partnered with CRC's Education Director to develop the Resident Bird Wellness Program. This program focuses on quality of life through preventative medicine, nutrition, physical health, mental health, enrichment, and also includes specialized geriatric care, and benefits all of CRC's Exhibit and Program birds.
Laurin has an eclectic background, growing up in the Washington DC area and on the island of Kauai. She attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts in Portland, studying primarily textile design and print making. Her creative background prepared her in many ways for the demands and needs of a small non-profit, from graphic design and marketing to outside-the-box brainstorming and problem solving. She lives in a rural community outside of the Eugene/Springfield area with her indoor cats and puppy Poet, enjoys roller derby, and repurposes discarded materials, turning them into new works of functional art.
Dr Ashraf NVK is the Senior Director & Chief Veterinarian at the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) which runs in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). He is a member of the IUCN’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Bear Specialist Group, Reintroduction Specialist Group, and Wildlife Health Specialist group. As part of WTI, he has worked with the Environment Public Authority (EPA) of the State of Kuwait in 2003 to prepare a schematic design plan for a wildlife rescue centre meant for accommodating confiscated animals and was part of IFAW's five-member team commissioned to renovate the Baghdad Zoo in 2003.
Ashraf played a major role in the creation of IFAW-WTI's wildlife rehabilitation centres as well as overseeing the rehabilitation projects associated with them. Under his leadership and supervision, for the first time in India, hand-raised rhino calves have been rehabilitated (and reproduced in the wild), Asiatic black bear orphans are being rehabilitated every year with 85% post-release survival success, demonstrated for the first time in Asia that clouded leopards can be put back the wild (now a National Geographic film), and stranded Eastern hoolock gibbons can be safely captured and translocated to safer areas in Arunachal Pradesh, India.
On the IWRC Board, Ashraf will be working towards bringing into focus the wildlife rehabilitation efforts of tropical Asian countries and acting as an ambassador to bridge the gap between rehabilitators of Indian subcontinent and the west.
Suzanne Pugh is currently engaged as Veterinary Operations Director with a national veterinary group, where she oversees activities for multiple veterinary hospitals across the provinces of BC and Southern Alberta, Canada.
Previously Suzanne worked within the charitable sector and spent a decade leading animal welfare and human health programs. For 5 years she served as Branch Manager, BC SPCA Kelowna, overseeing the care of almost 8000 animals. Her responsibilities included all shelter operations relating to the health and welfare of domestic, farm and wild animals. She increased programs to support the intake and assessment for rehabilitation, of injured and orphaned wildlife and their transfer to approved rehabilitation centres.
Suzanne volunteered on the regional district bylaw review committee championing improved animal welfare which resulted in the community of Kelowna being the first district in Canada to implement a bylaw making it an offense to leave a dog in a hot vehicle. She was a joint recipient of the BC SPCA Humane Community Award in 2016, recognized for her efforts to establish a canine transfer program to relocate northern breed dogs from the Yukon to BC, for a greater chance of rehabilitation and adoption.
Bonnie is Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator and founder and executive director of Dove Key Ranch Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc. (a 501(c)3 non-profit wildlife rehabilitation and education organization in east Texas. She is the newest member of the IWRC board and has been a full-time rehabilitator for over twelve years holding both state and federal permits. Having an academic background in both university (Yale University, University of Chicago) and museum-based (American Museum of Natural History, Field Museum of Natural History, Peabody Museum of Natural History) research departments has provided her with a unique perspective on how research institutions and wildlife rehabilitators can mutually benefit from each other’s pursuits. Since the start of her wildlife rehabilitation career, she has been drawn to IWRC and its mission to provide professional and science-based education and support to the wildlife rehabilitation and conservation communities. Currently Bonnie is pursuing her doctorate in Biomedical Sciences with certification in Applied Biodiversity Science in the Veterinary Pathobiology department at Texas A&M University.