Nicole Rogers – Executive Director
Nicole has led nonprofit organizations for the past 24 years. In collaboration with the Board of Directors, Nicole is excited about leading the growth of SFWS and achieving its compassionate and important mission to the fullest! Although this is her first animal sanctuary, Nicole finds herself serving a cause that is dear to her heart, animal welfare, joyously. Nicole has a Masters’ degree in International Public Health from Tulane University and has worked in Africa, Bangladesh, and the U.S. In her role as Executive Director for SFWS, Nicole is passionate about bringing her diverse nonprofit leadership knowledge and experience to SFWS.
Gentry Leonard, Sanctuary Curator: Gentry’s interest in SFWS began when he began serving the organization as an animal care volunteer. Through hard-work and dedication, he was selected to serve on the Board of Directors and then transitioned to his current and vital role as the Sanctuary Curator. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Texas A&M, and is currently completing his Masters’ in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences through A&M. He has worked, interned, or volunteered at multiple zoos and sanctuaries across the country including the Houston Zoo and the Saint Louis Zoo. While not striving to make St. Francis the best place for wolves and wolf dogs to live out their lives, Gentry is a HUGE Texas A&M football fan. He also travels quite often, most notably visiting zoos around the country (over 20 already!) and visiting Orlando annually for their Halloween festivities.
Bridget Stickels, Sanctuary Keeper: Bridget’s passion for animals started as a young girl when she was transported (through the TV) into the elusive world of wild animals, with the help of Steve Irwin. Since then, she has obtained Bachelor’s Degrees in both Biology and Psychology from The University of Montana with the goal of understanding all aspects of animal behavior. Before becoming a fulltime keeper at SFWS, Bridget began her journey with us a volunteer. When she isn’t taking care of our wolf pack, Bridget spends her time gardening, reading about animals, and hanging out with her own furry family. She has two dogs, one potbellied pig, and one cat—all rescues!
Kayla Hardy, Sanctuary Keeper: Kayla started off her career working with production animals, mainly cattle and goats. Her love for the exotic animal world evolved over a series of internships during her college career. Graduating from the University of Illinois in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, she was able to quickly enter her field of interest. Kayla enjoys the opportunity to continue her education through workshops, conventions, and different certifications and is as eager to teach as she is to learn.
Kacie Swift, Special Projects Coordinator: Kacie’s love of animals began when she took her first trip to the Houston Zoo at age 3 and fell in love with creatures of all shapes and sizes. She soon began rescuing dogs, cats, and domestic birds, and even started her own pet sitting business at age 10. During high school, she volunteered at a local wildlife center and fell in love with the conservation and rehabilitation of native wildlife. Eventually, she went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University at Galveston. Throughout and after college, she has volunteered, interned, and worked in several wildlife husbandry roles with various animals such as birds, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, and ducks. Outside of working as the SFWS Special Projects Coordinator, Kacie enjoys reading, SCUBA diving, baking, and caring for her parakeet and many aquatic animals. She also travels as often as she can, especially to Disney World and Universal Studios.