Save our Seabirds Wild Bird Learning Center is a non-profit wildlife conservation and education organization located on the former site of The Pelican Man Bird Sanctuary on City Island in Sarasota, Florida. Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured birds, and to educate the public about nature and environmental sustainability. Birds that have been rescued but are unable to be returned to the wild are given permanent homes in our Wild Bird Learning Center. Please say hello to our talented and caring staff:
Dana – Avian Hospital Administrator
Fun Fact: Dana participated on a collegiate Timber Sports team, handling chainsaws and axes. She is also a competitive 123 power lifter, recently placing second in the nation.
Cindi – Avian Hospital Technician
Cindi holds an Associate of Science degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. She has logged well over 6,000 hours of direct avian rehabilitation experience over the past four years, including birds of prey, songbirds, seabirds, tropical birds, and others. Her duties have included intake, triage, diagnosis, administration of fluids and medications, removing hooks, treating and suturing wounds, changing bandages, rescuing and releasing birds, directing other employees and volunteers, and maintaining our hospital facility.Cindi also worked for five years in a horse breeding facility, where she groomed, exercised, and trained mares and foals, and assisted in artificial inseminations and veterinary examinations.
FunFact: Cindi can parallel park a 40-foot transit bus.
Jonathan – Avian Hospital Technician
Jonathan is working toward a degree in Zoology at the University of North Florida. He is a former member of Future Farmers of America and has extensive experience ranging from zoo and stable work to accounting and macroeconomics.
Fun Fact: Jonathan’s dream is to own a farm when he grows up.
Chelsey – Avian Hospital Technician
FunFact: Chelsey also works at McCurdys Comedy Theater located in downtown, Sarasota.
Tara – Avian Facilities Technician
Tara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Environmental Studies from Western Michigan University. Her honors thesis was on Intelligence in Crows as Described in Biological Studies and Literature. She has worked at SOS for a total of almost two years. Before that, she spent two years tracking and banding eastern bluebirds as well as banding passerines for spring and fall migrations at Kalamazoo Nature Center. She also volunteers at Mote Marine Laboratory and Wildlife, Inc.
Fun Fact: Tara can do a bit of Tuvan throat singing.
Lorin – Greeter
Lorin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from City College of the City University of New York. She is a fifth-generation Floridian who migrated north to New York City after high school. Her first job in New York was at Simon & Schuster Inc. She went on to a career developing educational materials for students and teachers at Bank Street College of Education (where she worked on a project that included a TV show starring a 9-year-old Ben Affleck), Children’s Television Workshop/Sesame Workshop, and Time For Kids at Time Inc. For the past 19 years she has served on a freelance basis as principal editor for Audubon Adventures, the National Audubon Society’s supplementary curriculum for elementary-age students. In her spare time (ha!), Lorin also gives tours as a docent AND develops and administers our fully-accredited school field trip programs.
Fun fact: In her small Central Florida hometown, when Lorin was 8 years old, her entry came in third in the town’s gopher tortoise race (before gopher tortoises were considered endangered!)
Holly – Office Manager
As a Florida native, Holly developed a love of wildlife at a very early age. Living in Miami, she rescued her first bird at the age of 8, the morning after Hurricane Andrew. She got her start professionally working with animals as a bird keeper with Pelican Man’s Bird Sanctuary. It was the first job she ever fell in love with and where she developed a greater appreciation for birds. She was heartbroken when the facility shut down and she was laid off. Afterwards, she went on to work for Lowry Park Zoo and the Humane Society of Sarasota County while she attended college. Holly graduated from the University of South Florida in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and American Literature. Holly was overjoyed when she found the ad for the Office Manager position with Save Our Seabirds. She is happy to have come home to her first love in a role that marries her administrative skills and animal husbandry experience.
Fun Fact: Two weeks after her college graduation, Holly set out to travel the country for four years as a coast to coast truck driver.
David – CEO
David is a graduate of Riverview High School in Sarasota, holds a Bachelor of Science with a dual major in Business Administration and French from San Diego State University, and earned his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He began his career with Arthur Andersen’s Information Consulting organization, now known as Accenture, in Los Angeles and later successfully helped lead numerous Silicon Valley technology companies through early growth or turnaround stages. His former positions include Director of Education and Consulting Services for Oracle Corporation, Practice Director at The Application Group (now part of ADP), and Vice President of Customer Services with Quintus Corporation (now part of Avaya). Since returning to Sarasota in 2003, he has been active in numerous community organizations, including Rotary International, Riverview High School Foundation, Sarasota YMCA, Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, American Cancer Society Real Men Wear Pink Program, and the Sarasota Opera. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida and the Board of Directors of the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce. A lifelong nature lover and environmentalist, David enjoys skiing, hiking in the mountains, and nature photography. To see some of the photos he has taken during his adventures at Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, crank up your speakers and Click Here.
Fun Fact: David has appeared in seven operas – over 50 performances – with Sarasota Opera… but he doesn’t sing!