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

Director of Behavior, Education & Research

You might say Amy has a way with chimps. Since co-founding Chimp Haven in 1995, she’s played matchmaker more than 300 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

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.”

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 for five years. 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.”

Cassie Fahrney

Chief Financial Officer

As a former auditor, Cassie focused on non-profit engagements before transitioning to NPO leadership positions that included finance, facilities, IT, and human resources at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art, Adventure Science Center and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

In her free time, Cassie enjoys art, gardening and home renovation, and has a lifelong love for all animals. After spending 34 years in the Austin and Nashville areas, Chimp Haven was the perfect opportunity to bring all her passions together and be nearer to family and childhood friends.

Favorite Chimp:I’m still getting to know them but I’m fond of Keeli with his boisterous greetings followed by his dismissive behavior.

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.”

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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