Julie Wright, Board President: Julie’s enthusiasm for conservation and protecting wildlife began when she served as a design intern at the San Antonio Zoo. After graduating from Texas Tech University with a BFA in Communication Design, Julie worked as graphic designer both in-house and at creative agencies designing logos, websites, and large marketing campaigns. Currently, Julie owns and operates The Studio Zoom which offers brand strategy to startups and nonprofits throughout Texas. Serving as a member of the SFWS board is the perfect circumstance to merge her expertise in brand positioning with her passion for protecting wildlife.
Melissa Felty: Melissa graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Biology and from Miami University with M.A. in Teaching. She started volunteering as an animal keeper at a wildlife rehabilitation facility which progressed to teaching environmental education for over 17 years in the Great Lakes region. She has led programs for a variety of audiences; from toddlers to seniors and small groups to large auditoriums. Her passion is educating the public about wildlife and their habitats. As many of the stories that surround the life of Saint Francis, Melissa has a great love for animals and the environment. She and her husband adopt large-breed, geriatric dogs into their home and in turn the animals rescue us.
Stephen Levert: Stephen graduated from Texas A&M University in 2019 with a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and minors in Psychology and Public Health. Having volunteered and completed multiple animal care internships over the past 8 years at the Houston Zoo, Stephen has continued his passion for animal welfare and is currently attending Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, where he will graduate as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2023. Within the veterinary school, Stephen currently serves as an officer within the Green Vets organization, the Zoo, Exotics, and Wildlife Club, the Behavior Club, and is a student worker at the Schubot Avian Health Center. After running and organizing the BioBlitz of Lick Creek Park, a public event open to the Brazos Valley community, Stephen was able to see firsthand the excitement that comes from teaching the people of the Central Texas region about the environment around them. He is looking forward to helping the SFWS continue to serve as a leader in wildlife education in the Central Texas region and provide the best possible care for the pack.
Alisa Bailey: Alisa graduated from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI with a B.A. in English, with a concentration in speech communication and a minor in journalism. She has non-profit experience having served for seven years as executive director of the Bridgeport (CT) Chamber of Commerce where she had the opportunity to help lobby for funding for Bridgeport’s Beardsley Zoo and support the zoo’s annual ‘Wild Wine Safari’ fundraising event. Working with the zoo’s director, who was on the Chamber’s board and also board chairman, Alisa also got to see the growth of the zoo’s Red wolf, Maned wolf and Amur tiger conservation programs. Alisa was also the executive officer for a Home Builders & Remodelers Association for over seven years before moving to Texas in 2013. Once in Texas, she worked as an account executive in media advertising sales for four years before launching her photography business, Alisa Bailey Imagery, LLC in 2017. She specializes in business branding photography and is looking forward to sharing her photographic, marketing, strategic and event planning talents to help grow awareness and funding for the sanctuary.
Cindy Price, award-winning writer and naturalist, authors and films the nature photography for The Urban Naturalist series of books. She also writes the nature column for Life is Good magazine. Cindy is a long-time resident of Southeast Texas. She received her Master Naturalist training from the Houston Arboretum, and is an instructor for the Junior Naturalists Program sponsored by the Environmental Institute of Houston at the University of Houston. Cindy is also a regular presenter for the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Bureau. As a member of the National Wildlife Federation and other animal conservation groups, she is focused on species preservation.
Sydney graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with degrees in Zoology and Environmental Studies. During college, she began working at the Columbus Zoo doing animal programs and bird shows during the summer. She found a passion for working with a variety of smaller birds, reptiles, and mammals, but also fell in love engaging with zoo guests. After spending some time at the Alaska SeaLife Center and the Kansas City Zoo, she moved to Houston to become a zoo keeper at the Houston Zoo, where she is very active in her zoo community. Sydney has a love for sustainability and began a composting program at the zoo, is part of the zoo’s Take Action committee, and is always looking for ways for her department to be more green. Sydney has also been an active board member of the Greater Houston Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers and is now going to graduate school for a sustainability masters.