Meet
the
Staff

Meet the Staff of Peace River Wildlife Center

Callie StahlExecutive Director
Callie started working as a veterinary technician in 1992 and continued in that career until she had her children and became a full-time mom. In 2009, she moved from Lee County to Port Charlotte and was hired at PRWC as a part-time rehabilitator. She worked rehab for three years before taking the position as Operations Manager and then Executive Director. Callie really enjoys escaping the office to educate the public with our glove-trained ambassador birds, Luna and Bella.

Fun Fact: Has every Shaun Cassidy album ever recorded.


Meet the Staff Robin JenkinsRobin JenkinsDVM, Director of Veterinary Services
A 1996 graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Robin Jenkins has spent most of her professional career in service to non-profits. She has worked with animal shelters trying to improve the health and adoption rates of homeless cats and dogs. She volunteered with Peace River Wildlife Center since 2004 in every capacity from cage cleaner to gift shop clerk, from surgeon to Executive Director. Dr. Robin has been the Director of Veterinary Services since 2016. Releasing healthy animals back out into the wild is her favorite activity, but she also enjoys working with the resident non-releasable birds as an education ambassador.

Fun Fact: Dr. Robin’s favorite quote is by a fictional serial killer: “Hang on to your dreams with everything you got. Because the best life is when your dreams come true. The second-best is when they don’t but you never stop chasing them.” — Serge A. Storms


David Hayes – Program Director
David was born and raised in Elon, North Carolina. In 2018, he graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s in Recreation and Park Management. Upon graduating, David left the cold mountain top for warm, sunny beaches. He started an internship with Charlotte County Community Services and then went on with them as a Recreation Specialist. With a history of exotic pets and a passion and admiration of wildlife, he found a perfect fit at PRWC. Although David has a beautiful, fluffy Chinchilla (Biscuits) at home, he loves the raptors most. In his free time, David enjoys playing Call of Duty and trying out new craft beers!

Fun Fact: David is an aspiring Elvis Presley impersonator.


Management

Tammy GerringerOffice Manager & Volunteer Coordinator
In April of 2017, Tammy left cold winters and her 20 year career in healthcare administration behind and moved to Punta Gorda to become a full-time Floridian. A lifelong resident of North Carolina, Tammy, along with her husband, Andy decided it was time to head south for warmer temperatures, palm trees and sunnier weather. While taking long walks down to Ponce de Leon Park and trying to figure out the next steps in her life, her path led her by the Peace River Wildlife Center. In November 2017, she began volunteering as a habitat cleaner. As luck would have it, an opportunity to move out of the animal enclosures and into the office as an administrator and volunteer coordinator presented itself in July 2018. Now healthcare administration takes on a new perspective for her as part of the PRWC team. When she is not at PRWC, she enjoys boating with Andy, keeping in touch with her four sons and binge watching BBC shows.

Fun fact: Tammy is a Certified Specialist of Wine. She loves to learn and teach others about wine and especially enjoys the homework!


staff_Rick-AndrewsRick AndrewsCurator of Exhibits
Rick was born in Massachusetts, but grew up right here in Punta Gorda since he was 8 years old and graduated from Charlotte High School in 1987 (go Tarpons!). He worked at the Animal Welfare League from early 1992 – Oct. 2007, caring for abandoned and lost domestic animals as a Kennel Technician, Kennel Supervisor, Medical Assistant and Office Administrator before coming to work at the Center in April of 2009. Rick is a jack of all trades and has helped the Center as a rehabber, gift shop manager and electronics guru. He also owns his own business which supplies self-defense and personal protection products to the public. Rick is a father of two (as far as he knows) grown boys, two Step-Daughters and lives with his soul mate, Lucinda. They are owned by four dogs, four cats and one Monk Parrot. Over the years, Rick and Lucinda have fostered many homeless pets and now continue to home-care countless orphaned wild baby mammals that the Center admits.

Fun Fact: 16th President, Abraham Lincoln was Rick’s fourth cousin, five-times removed.


Stephanie Garrone – Gift Shop Manager
Although a Fort Myers native, Stephanie has done quite a bit of traveling in her life. In 1986, Stephanie began her career in the retail world as the Visual Merchandise Manager for Macy’s in Atlanta, Georgia. After 10 years, she traveled on to Pittsburgh as Macy’s Regional Director, then to Memphis, Birmingham, Indiana, and then back to Atlanta. After leaving Macy’s, Stephanie went on as the Visual Merchandise Director for Belk in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2019, Stephanie started as a volunteer in the gift shop at PRWC, in 2020 she began as the Gift Shop Manager. In her free time Stephanie enjoys gardening, designing jewelry, and boating with her husband.

Fun Fact: Stephanie was a Trickster on the Florida State University Water Skiing Team!


Sandy Wright – Office Administrator
Sandy grew up in St. Louis Missouri. She left in 1979 and headed west to Arizona and then on to Nevada. She found herself missing the green landscapes and had taken up scuba diving in Lake Mead so she and her husband left the desert and moved to Homestead Florida in 1990, just in time to see their first hurricane, “Andrew” in 1992. After brief moves to West Palm Beach and the Florida Keys she accepted a job with Charlotte County Government and moved here in 2005. Sandy spent all of her adult working life in what is known today as I.T. and helped design Charlotte County’s first online employment application while working in the Human Resources Department. In 2015, while working at the county and after volunteering, her dream of working with animals came true and she started working part time at the Animal Welfare League as a Kennel Technician in the cat hospital.  She continued working there on into her retirement until she joined PRWC in July 2019. She is now working as the Sunday Office Administrator where she takes calls and coordinates animal rescues and pickups.

Fun Fact: Sandy and her husband Glenn love to fish and dance. If there’s music playing and they are in the vicinity, you will very likely get to see some of their fancy foot work!


Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialists

Valerie WolfreyHospital Manager
Valerie started volunteering with PRWC in 1996 with rescuing wildlife. In 2014, she started volunteering in the hospital and was hired as a Rehabilitator in May of 2015 and is currently our hospital manager. She previously worked at Punta Gorda Animal Hospital from 2005 – 2016, and in the veterinary profession for over 14 years. She graduated from Desoto High School, has taken a few college courses as well as numerous veterinary continuing education courses. Her favorite part of the profession is delivering compassion and loving care to her patients. She has loved and cared for animals her whole life and truly loves what she does! In her spare time she enjoys going kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, and gardening. She has nine dogs, four cats, six birds, and two horses. Her outdoor activity partner is Goldie, a rescued long-haired Dachshund who enjoys hiking as well!

Fun Fact: Although not a hoarder, Valerie has had 65 rescue animals on her farm during the course of her marriage, with 25 animals currently — a mix of dogs, horses, cats, and birds.


Amy RhoadsWildlife Rehabilitator
Amy grew up in a small town outside of Buffalo, New York and was always surrounded by animals. Her father taught her how to fish before she could walk. This sparked her love and fascination with the ocean and marine animals. Amy attended the University of New England in southern Maine with a dual major in marine biology and environmental science. During college, Amy stayed busy volunteering at the local marine animal rehabilitation center where she helped rehabilitate injured seals and sea turtles. During college breaks she interned with many organizations which helped her get her feet wet in many facets of animal care. She started with the care of exotic waterfowl at the Gooseneck Hill Waterfowl Sanctuary in Delevan, New York and ended with research of North Atlantic right whales in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. After college, she accepted a position as a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission where she was responsible for manatee and dolphin rescue and carcass salvage for several southwest counties. While working for FWC, Amy started volunteering for PRWC as a habitat cleaner in 2011. Then in 2012, PRWC was able to steal Amy away from FWC and made her one of their wildlife rehabilitators.

Fun Fact: Amy has been a vegetarian since she was four years old. When she was little she would tell everyone that she was a “veterinarian”.


staff_Jess-Malasics

Jessica MalasicsAssistant Wildlife Rehabilitator
Jessica was born and raised in Englewood, Florida and always knew she wanted to work with animals. Her passion led her to go to college in Unity, Maine where she majored in Wildlife Biology. After graduating, she came back home and started working for a veterinary hospital as a veterinary technician. She has been working with Punta Gorda Animal Hospital since 2014 and the PRWC since 2017. At home, she has two dogs, two cats and a mini pig named Penelope.

Fun Fact: Jessica has a huge passion for wolves so much that when Unity College sent her a pamphlet of a girl petting a wolf she knew that was where she wanted to go.


Scarlett SheppardAssistant Wildlife Rehabilitator
Scarlett is a seventh generation Floridian who grew up exploring the outdoors of central Florida. She started volunteering at PRWC in 2015 which encouraged her love of wildlife to grow and led her to the decision that she wanted to become a Wildlife Rehabilitator. Scarlett previously worked at the Animal Welfare League as an animal care specialist. Scarlett’s hobbies include reading, writing, hiking, and creating culinary masterpieces for Pacino the Opossum. She also enjoys entertaining people with all the bizarre, hilarious stories that could only come from working at a wildlife center. At home she cares for five bantam roosters, three cats, and two fish.

Fun Fact: Scarlett rescued the resident male red-tailed hawk on display at PRWC after finding him injured on the side of the highway.


Aria Marcellino Assistant Wildlife Rehabilitator
Born and raised in the Great Lakes region, Aria found her passion for wildlife in high school after rescuing a neglected classroom pet green iguana. She nursed the iguana back to health for two years before finding him a forever home. During the winter of 2019, Aria moved down to Punta Gorda, Florida to pursue her dream of becoming an exotic animal veterinarian (the warmth and sunshine were a bonus, too!). As soon as she moved in to her new home, she applied to volunteer at PRWC. Aria volunteered in the hospital for a year before coming on as an Assistant Rehabilitator. At home, she has a cat, a hedgehog, and two bearded dragons, on top of her roommate’s three rats and three dogs.

Fun Fact: Aria is fluent in Dothraki, the horse lord language from the HBO series, Game of Thrones.


Habitat Enrichment

Trey Hester Maintenance Supervisor
Born and raised in Charlotte County, Trey has always been an admirer of nature. After graduating from Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, Trey came to PRWC as the Maintenance Supervisor.  In his free time, he enjoys fishing, riding dirt bikes, and scuba diving. With his PADI Scuba Diving certification, Trey can scope out the fish he wants to catch later!

Fun Fact: Trey ranks nationally in Olympic pressure washing!

 


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