Leadership

Rana Smith

President and Chief Executive Officer

When Rana took on the role of leading the Chimp Haven clan in 2017, she brought with her a lifelong passion for animals and more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising expertise. Rana’s recipe for happiness is leading staff and donors to do big things for animals (and some artisan dark chocolate doesn’t hurt either). When she’s not living the chimp life at Chimp Haven, Rana can be found chilling out in Austin, Texas, with her family or planning her next travel adventure.

Favorite Chimp: Hope – “I love her unique look and that her alopecia doesn’t slow her down for a second. She’s got a sweet, welcoming personality and she’s a great friend to all of the chimps in her group.”

Amy Fultz

Welfare Scientist and Director of Special Projects

You might say Amy has a way with chimps. Since co-founding Chimp Haven in 1995, she’s played matchmaker more than 350 times, creating large, loving chimp families and helping retirees thrive at the sanctuary. When Amy’s not enriching the lives of chimps and staff alike, you’ll find her hanging out with her daughters and pets, or behind a camera, sharing her passion for photography.

Favorite Chimp: Matthew – “He’s handsome and just plain silly.”

Raven Jackson-Jewett, D.V.M.

Attending Veterinarian & Director of Veterinary Care

Dr. J is a mother to five little humans and caregiver to more than 300 chimps! She works tirelessly to keep retirees healthy and thriving, and due to her nurturing spirit, the chimps always love a visit from Dr. J…even if she happens to be carrying a needle that day. When she’s not working on the next lifesaving chimp procedure, Dr. J likes to enjoy good food with her husband and friends.

Favorite Chimp: Buster – “He’s hard core; yet so sweet.”

Taylor Shead Johnson

Chief Development and Marketing Officer

A photographer and travel enthusiast at heart, Taylor channels her creative vision and energy to engage Chimp Haven supporters all over the world. Before joining Chimp Haven, Taylor served humans in several leadership roles at United Way. When she’s not paving the way for the future of Chimp Haven, you might catch Taylor perusing Central Market or tracking down a good cup of coffee.

Favorite Chimp: Henry – “What’s not to love? He’s the most handsome chimp in the world in spite of what Amy Fultz says about Matthew.”

Rebekah Lewis

Chimpanzee Training Program Supervisor

Since 2009 Rebekah has been giving the Chimp Haven retirees her all, serving in leadership roles on the Husbandry and Behavior teams before taking on the sanctuary’s Positive Reinforcement Training program, which encourages the chimps to participate in their own wellness plans. When she’s not training chimps and mentoring staff, you can find Rebekah in her garden, spending time with her kids, going on adventures with her husband, and training her own parrots, cats, and dog.

Favorite Chimp: Slim – “She’s a strong leader, is always up for any challenge, but still finds time to relax in a hammock with her besties.”

Holly Reid

Director of People and Culture

Holly brings 30 years of diverse business experience to her role at the sanctuary, including work with nonprofits, startups, and for-profits. For 16 years she served as Director of HR for Best Friends Animal Society, and now she leads the charge of strengthening employee engagement, culture, and professional development at Chimp Haven. Holly holds an MBA with an emphasis in management and degrees in accounting and journalism; she is certified as an Executive and Professional Coach through the University of Texas at Dallas and as a Certified Equine Facilitated Learning Coach. Holly is the doting mom of five dogs, two cats, and a horse named Gypsy. She is passionate about all animals but has a special place in her heart for the Great Apes.

Michelle Reininger

Colony Director

A native of South Dakota, Michelle began her career at a Texas sanctuary working with big cats, bears, wolves, and chimps and took the reins as Chimp Haven’s Colony Director after serving on the Animal Care team. She and her team lead husbandry and care for the colony and work tirelessly to give all of Chimp Haven’s retirees the best life possible.

Favorite Chimp: Pierre – “I have known Pierre for 18 years and we just clicked from the first time we met.  He is a big boisterous male that is known for his exuberant displays that make him seem like a tough guy.  However, upon inspection, he is a big softie, who likes to have his chin rubbed with a spoon.”

Allen Smith

Facility and Grounds Director

Allen is his name and construction is his game. Allen’s small but mighty crew maintains more than 200 acres of wooded habitats, chimp enclosures and office space in addition to leading new construction efforts at Chimp Haven. When he isn’t in a construction pit, Allen enjoys spending time next to a BBQ pit.

Favorite Chimp: Keeli – “He has hard core exterior, but when you get to know him you see his soft and caring heart.”

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