Nicole Rogers, Executive Director: Nicole has led nonprofit organizations for the past 24 years both in the U.S. and internationally. In collaboration with the SFWS Board of Directors, she is grateful to be leading the sustainable growth of SFWS and achieving its compassionate and important mission to the fullest. At SFWS, she finds herself serving a cause that is dear to her heart, animal welfare, joyously!
Board of Directors
Sydney Fitzpatrick, Board President & Animal Care and Coordination Committee Chair: 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 spent 7 years being active in her zoo community. Sydney now lives in Michigan where she is building a nature-based bed and breakfast with her husband and 2 dogs. Sydney holds a Masters degree in Resilient and Sustainable Communities which has expanded her knowledge of the environment and conservation and how humans can best work with nature more harmoniously.
Kate Unger, Education and Conservation Committee Chair: Kate has worked in science education for the past 15 years and is thrilled to support the conservation education goals of the St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary. While working towards a degree in marine biology, she worked at SeaWorld San Antonio as well as the Houston Zoo and fell in love with informal education and guest interpretation. After graduating from Texas A&M University, she became part of the Houston Zoo’s conservation education team and for the next 10 years introduced guests to the amazing animals that call the Zoo home. She worked with families to find accessible, nearby nature and partnered with schools to create wildlife habitat as well as conservation action plans. This led to her current role with the National Wildlife Federation where she works on environmental justice and green infrastructure programs with schools in the greater Houston area. In her free time, Kate enjoys gardening, spending family weekends at the beach with her husband and two kiddos, and soaking up all the snuggles she can get from their senior golden retriever.
Cindy Price: 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.
Dr. Brian W. Davis: Dr. Davis is a Research Assistant Professor of Genomics in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences in the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the founder of the Exotic Genome Repository. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University where he focused on the genomics of speciation using hybrid felines as a model for reproductive isolation. Shortly after, he founded a multi-institutional biobank for the preservation of tissues from animals under veterinary surveillance in the US. He then joined the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Comparative Genomics and Cancer Genetics branches as a postdoc where he focused on natural/artificial selection and the burden of deleterious variation in multiple post-domestication and wild animal species. Focused heavily on big-data genomics and genome evolution, his research at Texas A&M focuses on integrating models of heritable disease across diverse species.
Kelly Byerley, Secretary: For the past 13 years Kelly has worked in the aerospace industry as an Environment, Health and Safety Specialist, where she raises employee awareness of environmental issues. She is a 2002 graduate of U.H. Clear Lake, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. During her time at school she interned with a public relations firm and for the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast. Kelly enjoys volunteering and participates in local clean-up activities, land management events and educational opportunities for organizations around the Houston and Galveston areas. She loves the outdoors and learning about nature. She is an avid diver, having been on over 50 dives throughout the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific. She is equally passionate about rescuing animals, having shared her home with five rescue dogs over the past 20 years.
Brittany Mead, Fundraising Committe Chair: Brittany comes to the sanctuary with development and fundraising experience. Her tenure at the Houston Zoo included raising funds for the Zoo as well as its wildlife saving conservation programs across the globe. Brittany has always had a passion for wildlife, her favorite animal being wolves, and graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s of science in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. After spending time as a Zookeeper, Brittany found her career passion in connecting donors to causes they care about. She serves on several Global Association of Fundraising committees as well as as the national event coordinator for the American Association of Zookeepers Bowling for Rhinos committee. Brittany lives in Houston with her husband, son and two rescue dogs and is thrilled to be able to help people find ways that they can connect with and support the sanctuary.