| Areas of Expertise
Animal Behavior, Training, & Education
| Favorite Quote
“Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I may remember, Involve me and I learn”
| Job Title
President and Co-Founder, Window to the Wild, Inc.
Bachelor’s of Science degree from Siena Heights University.
I have been in the professional animal training industry for the last 15 years and have worked for some of the top companies in the U.S. putting on educational bird shows around the nation. My animal background began as a young girl growing up watching Sea World Shows and dreaming of being a dolphin trainer. Through my high school and college years I spent time learning to be a veterinary technician at my local veterinary office and learned all about the veterinary medicine side of things. After college I decided to pursue working with bigger animals like Lions and Tigers and Bears…oh my, at a wildlife sanctuary that took in abandoned or confiscated pets. I worked for Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge for a 9-month internship and fell in love with big cats. During this internship is when my love for animal behavior and psychology came in to play. From then on my goal was to become one of the best animal trainers in the world and that is when I started working for, whom I believe is the absolute best animal trainer, Steve Martin. I began working for Steve Martin’s Natural Encounters, Inc. in 2003 and traveled all over the U.S. setting up, choreographing, and performing Free-flight Bird Shows at zoos all over the U.S., such as the San Diego Zoo, Toledo, Dallas, Philadelphia, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Beardsley Zoo in Connecticut and the “Birds of the World” show at the State Fair of Texas. Not only did I have the opportunity to set up some of the most incredible shows but also had opportunities to consult at multiple zoos teaching keepers how to properly train their animals using positive reinforcement. I worked for NEI for almost 10 years, 5 of which I was a Supervisor and Head Trainer. I had so many incredible opportunities to work with many species of animals but still have the deepest love for birds and that is why my husband and I started our own company with which we are growing into a thriving non-profit with 24 birds and sharing with the world the wonders of our planet. I currently live in Dallas, Texas where my husband Simon and I started a non-profit organization called “Window to the Wild, Inc.” in 2014. My role with our organization is President but we are the only two employees of our company. We provide the daily care and positive reinforcement training for our 36 birds, from Hawks to Owls, Parrots, and more. We also provide educational programs to schools, museums, Audubon Centers, and other educational facilities all around the DFW area. We play every role that runs our non-profit organization from marketing, maintenance, development, and more.
| Dance like nobody is watching… Nah, you should free fly birds like nobody is watching.
| Just hanging out with the tiny home and the chucks.
Since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to work with animals in some capacity. There was many times throughout my life that I thought about choosing a different path due to friends and loved ones seeing my struggle with finances and affording every day life. Also normal every day society tells you as a woman that you should be married, have kids, a big house and a normal job definitely by the age of 30. I traveled the world for my job for 9 years, wasn’t married until 33 and now live in a Tiny House that is 287 square feet with my husband-why be normal!
| Emotional Story
One of my favorite memories from one of the shows I did was at the Beardsley Zoo in Connecticut. A young blooming animal enthusiast came to at least one show a week, had memorized our script by heart, and many times showed his appreciation by giving the works of art he had done of me and the birds. In return, I gave him and his mother many behind-the-scenes experiences with our animals and helped his eyes widen even more about the field of animal conservation. Quite a few years later I received an email from his mother letting me know the impact I had on her son’s life and that he was working hard in school to become an Animal Conservationist just like me.
| Conservation Tip
One of the best things us as women can do for our planet is to always voice our opinions and never back down if we feel strongly about what is being done to hurt the world around us. But it also takes little things like finding ways to live smaller, smarter and more environmentally conscious. Take it from me-living tiny is the way to go!
My advice to those ladies out there looking to make their dreams come true is to never give up. This isn’t just a man’s world and I truly believe if you put your mind to it you can do anything! I grew up in an Animal Training industry where the men were the ones training all of the dangerous and big animals. I worked hard every day to be the Eagle trainer and that job was always given to a man. Finally one day I was given the chance to be that Eagle Trainer and from that day forward I proved myself as a trainer and became the Head Trainer and Supervisor. Always work hard and never stop following your dreams!
| If You Could Be Any Animal, What Would You Be?
If I could be any animal it would be a Falcon. I would love to explore the world at the high speeds that they do!
Website: www.WindowToTheWild.org This is the link to the non-profit organization that my husband Simon and I started.