Andrew Rottner is executive vice president and chief lending officer for First State Bank in Decatur, TX. He has served on the Decatur City Council, Decatur Economic Development Corporation and was past president of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce. He currently is a long standing officer and member of the Wise Health Foundation. Andrew is president of WC Challenger Charities, a local non profit that puts on the annual JW Hart PBR Challenge bull riding event that has raised over $1,000,000 for local organizations.
Andrew has a passion for animals, having grown up his entire life around all types of animals. He became involved in CARE in 2013 after visiting Zuberi and Araali as cubs. He took up an instant bond with the lion cubs and has been a fixture in their life ever since. He believes strongly in the mission of CARE and the excellent work directed by Heidi and all the volunteers who so graciously give of their time for the betterment of all the residents of CARE. Andrew joined the CARE board in 2017.Read more
Jamie started volunteering with CARE in 2008, became a board member in 2011, and served as Board President from 2013-2017. Jamie also serves as CARE's Director of Development. Jamie dedicates most of her time at CARE on development projects such as the CARE website, social media, fundraising initiatives, events, and other tasks such as painting the lemurs' toenails.
Jamie received a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington and is currently obtaining a Masters of Education from Texas A & M University. She lives in Dallas, TX working as a Product Manager at a K-12 math and literacy curriculum publisher.
Given Jamie’s passion for both education and big cats, one of her favorite duties at CARE includes giving tours to children and young adults. Jamie hopes that she can help the cats at CARE inspire young people to become passionate advocates for these animals in the future.
You can follow Jamie on Instagram @CAREJAMIERead more
Kelsey Cooley is local business owner and former Executive Director of the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce. Kelsey grew up in a small town in Northern California where her love for animals was fostered on the family farm. In her youth 4H and FFA helped foster a drive to pursue a future working with animals. Kelsey went on to attend the University of Nevada, Reno where she earned a B.S. in AgBusiness Marketing. While there, she was active on the University AgBusines Marketing team where among other top honors, in 2005 the team brought home the title of National Champions, and Kelsey received the award of Top Female Presenter for her part in the team’s project. After College, Kelsey moved to North Texas to pursue a career in the animal health industry. It was during her time working in Animal Pharmaceuticals that she developed a love for large cats and an understanding of the important role Sanctuaries and Zoos play in these cat’s current lives and their species preservation for future generations.
Kelsey and her husband Matt, married in 2013 and where joined by their daughter Raevyn in 2015. After 6 years working in Animal Pharmaceuticals, specializing in Equine Medicine, Kelsey stepped away from her career to focus her attention on her family. After taking a position with the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, Kelsey was introduced to Executive Director Heidi Krahn and the amazing team at C.A.R.E. and has developed a passion for the work that C.A.R.E. is responsible for every day.
The Cooley’s reside in Northern Wise County on a small farm where Kelsey hopes to pass on her love for animals to her children and family.Read more
Since 1990 Mark has been active with buying & selling Commercial properties as well as Oil & Gas Properties for his family's holdings. His commercial real estate experience includes the management and leasing of these properties, which have been in Texas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada & California. Mark has been active with Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers, Inc. for several years and is a past president. From 2010 to 2016, Mark joined the Board of Directors of the North Texas Community Health Care Center.
After falling in love with Wise County, he purchased his first Decatur property in 2005. Mark Moran’s Decatur Town Square group did its part to spruce up the city’s main drags with signs, displays and artwork, taking advantage of local talent in several of the projects. Mark also received the Outstanding Community Investment Award from the Decatur Economic Development Corporation 2015. The real estate developer’s continued interest in Decatur has resulted in significant business development downtown, earning him the Faith in the Future award from the Decatur Chamber of Commerce in November of 2016. Recently he was nominated for person of the year by the Wise County Messenger.
Mark joined CARE's board in February 2017.Read more
Kevin Holzbog is the Executive Director of The Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation, a Type A economic development corporation in Bridgeport, Texas. Holzbog is originally from Denison, Texas and holds a Bachelors of Science from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma. Kevin worked for the Honorable Ralph M. Hall, Representative of Texas’ 4th District in the United States House of Representatives prior to accepting a role with REI Oklahoma, a statewide economic development firm. He served REI Oklahoma for nearly 4 years prior to accepting the position he currently holds with Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation.
Kevin is active in his community, serving on a number of civic club boards of directors including the Bridgeport Lions Club, CASA of Wise and Jack Counties, Bridgeport Main Street Board, the Wise County Look Local Committee, Center for Animal Research and Education amongst others. He also serves as the co-chair of the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Transportation Board’s “Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee” (Cluster 1), in addition to serving as a member of the Texas Economic Development Council’s Political Action Committee and Community Economic Development Awards Committee as well as holding an advisory seat on the Wise County Regional Transportation Board.
Kevin has one daughter and is passionate about issues pertaining to abused children, military veterans, land and water conservation and rural Texas economies. He is currently working towards his Certified Economic Developer Certification.
Kevin joined CARE's board in February 2017.Read more
Derek has been fascinated by big cats for as long as he can remember. He became involved with CARE after his first visit by adopting Cassie, one of our mountain lions, in November of 2008. Since then he has gradually become more involved by becoming a volunteer tour guide and by joining the Board of Directors.
Outside of CARE, Derek has been a local small business owner since 2001. He is also an avid ice hockey fan, a long-time musician, and enjoys outdoor activities anywhere with less humid & cooler than north Texas.Read more
Gary started volunteering with CARE in 2011 and has served on CARE's Board since 2013. At first, Gary's commitment to CARE was as an Adoptive Parent to Lyddia, the most vocal tigress CARE has ever had. By 2012, Gary was a fully trained volunteer, dedicating much of his free time helping around the facility and bonding with many of the resident cats. In early 2013, Gary adopted Mwali, a male lion and the youngest cat at CARE.
Gary strives to be an effective member of CARE's team. Gary enjoys sharing his excitement and passion for the animals at CARE during facility tours and with members of his community.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Gary graduated as a Nuclear Engineer from the Merchant Marine Academy of New York in 1980. He was commissioned in the US Air Force and married to Debbie, his childhood sweetheart, later that year. He and Debbie have 2 wonderful children and they are active church members in Wichita Falls, TX.
Being retired, Gary stays active in aviation, teaching Flight Instruction to future NATO Fighter Pilots. Gary has over 3000 hours of Flight Time combined from flying the F4, F-16, and in both T-37 and T-38 Training Jets.Read more
Melanie Klein has been an important part of CARE since 2007. She first found CARE when she lived in New York City. To become more involved with the operational and public side of CARE she moved to Dallas in 2010. Her first gift to CARE was when she lovingly adopted Ace, a beautiful male black leopard. Melanie also served as an assistant to CARE’s Executive Director for 2 years and lived at the center for a year. Melanie holds a degree in Sociology, as well as an AA in Media Communications. Her heart will always be at CARE even though Melanie is currently residing oversees. Melanie continues to have significant influence in the CARE organization as an active board member.Read more
Derek Krahn has served on CARE's Board since 2007. Derek also acts as Operations Director, supervising day-to-day facility maintenance and operations at the CARE facility, overseeing CARE's intern training program, and helping organize special events. Derek, a lover of tigers since the age of five, has been involved with CARE since 2006 when he started as a weekend volunteer. Over the years, Derek spent more time at the CARE facility and gained more experience and responsibility within the organization.
Now, in addition to his other roles within the organization, Derek also promotes CARE through his his social media platforms as Big Cat Derek and has introduced CARE to hundreds of thousands of new supporters worldwide.
Derek's interests include reading, future tech, and stand-up comedy.
You can follow Derek on several social media channels: