We are proud to be able to have a high staff to animal ratio to care for the animal residents in the sanctuary. Most of our animals are elderly and/or have special needs and it is important that they not only have their health care tended to but also that they have joy and enrichment. Our staff is a key component in the lives of our animals.
Heading up the daily management are Bonnie Reynolds, President, Dawn Hayman, Vice-President, and Margot Unkel, Treasurer. All three are on site 24/7/365 and assist with and manage all aspects of the administrative and daily operation of the farm.
Animal Sanctuary Staff
Our Animal caretaking staff is comprised of 14 full-time and 7 part-time people. We also have many volunteers who give their valuable time to offer additional assistance. Below we introduce you to our management team.
Robin Genovese-Kaminski, LVT - Animal Health and Enrichment Manager
Robin started with Spring Farm CARES in 2010 as a Small Animal Care Technician and Licensed Veterinary Technician. Robin brings with her years of experience working in different veterinary clinic settings ranging from daytime practices to emergency medicine.Her skills and knowledge as an LVT serve our animals very well. Her decades of experience as a horse trainer also helps us improve the lives of our horses. All of this, coupled with her connection, love, deep understanding and respect for animals makes her an exceptional asset to this organization. Robin is now our Animal Health and Enrichment Manager which puts her in charge of the daily health, well-being, and enrichment of all of our animal residents. She also manages the entire small animal care staff. Robin is on call 24/7 for any animal emergencies that come up. The doors may close to the public at 5pm but the animals are always cared for around the clock every single day. We are thrilled and excited to have Robin working along with us and continuing moving forward with the journey of this organization. She truly understands and embodies the mission of Spring Farm CARES.
Steven Bridge - Barn and Facility Manager
Steven started as a large animal caretaker with Spring Farm CARES in 1998 while he was still in high school. We are proud to have Steven as our Barn Manager and also more recently as our Facility Manager. Steven is responsible for the daily routine and care of all of our equine and farm animals, as well as managing the Large Animal Caretaking staff. As facility manager, he is in charge of the entire infrastructure of the farm. That is everything from machinery and equipment to fence repair and drainage, not to mention plumbing and electrical equipment to name a few. He is a very busy man. Steven has been learning a lot of skills in all the years he has been here. He brings with him a strong dedication to the animals in his care, as well as his very giving heart. He is truly devoted to this organization and we are very proud to have him along on this journey. Steven is also on call 24/7 and is here for any emergency involving the large animals or any infrastructure issues. He truly understand the heart and mission of Spring Farm CARES and we are thrilled to have him on our management team.
Nature Sanctuary Staff
Our Nature Sanctuary is staffed by two full-time and one part-time person.
Matt Perry - Naturalist and Spring Farm CARES Conservation Director
Matt Perry is Spring Farm CARES’ Conservation Director and nature sanctuary manager. He is recognized throughout the region as an authority on wild birds, their habitat and behavior. Among his specialties are neo-tropical songbirds and Peregrine Falcons. He also has an extensive knowledge of beavers and the flora and fauna that inhabit the wetlands that beavers create. At the nature sanctuary, Matt has been the Resident Naturalist since 1999. Since then he’s overseen habitat restoration projects including an ambitious reforestation project and a native wildflower/herb restoration project. In recent years Matt has written dozens of articles about his experiences with wildlife at the nature sanctuary. These have been published in Mohawk Valley Living Magazine. Matt is also a regional editor of The Kingbird, which is a quarterly journal published by The New York State Ornithological Association. Matt is a popular speaker and presenter and has given many wildlife presentations to community organizations and schools throughout the Central New York.
Tim Johnston - Naturalist
Tim Johnston has always been fascinated with nature. This likely stems from growing up with family members who shared their own love of nature with him and taught him the value of being awestruck by its beauty and complexity. Tim graduated from Ohio State University in 2007 with a degree in Biology. Since then he has taught at various environmental programs and camps. He has also worked closely with captive wild animals, gaining valuable husbandry experience, which he would like to use in the future for wildlife rehabilitation. Throughout his life, Tim has spent his leisure time exploring and studying the natural world. He came to work for Spring Farm CARES in 2015, and is grateful for the opportunity to focus his talents on meaningful conservation projects that build habitat and assist wildlife.
Natalie Parent - Naturalist
Natalie Parent started working at the nature sanctuary in 2014 and within a year she took on the role as the primary horticulturist. As an herbalist she has studied the medicinal uses of plants as well as the relationship that plants have to people and cultures around the world. She is currently exploring the relationship between insect pollinators and the flowers they co-evolved with. Natalie's travels from Mexican deserts to the boreal forests of Canada have given her a wide range of experiences with North American plant species. Combining that knowledge with her green thumb, she has created Spring Farm CARES' most diverse and compelling native wildflower garden. In this unique garden she has seamlessly integrated the rare with the common, and the most useful herbs with the most important nectar sources for native pollinators. A visit to Natalie's garden could be likened to an expedition to an exotic paradise.
Equally as important in the daily running of this organization are the office staff that keep everything flowing smoothly and who answer many of your calls and inquiries. We couldn't run without them!
Karen Strange - Office Manager
Karen began working for Spring Farm CARES in 1998. Her role of Office Manager has evolved over the years as our organization has grown, matured, and changed. Karen has been an important and vital part of that process. She not only brings her love and dedication to all animals with her but also her exceptional organizational and people skills. Karen has problem solved with thousands of people to help thousands of animals over the years. She easily has one of the toughest jobs of anyone in our organization as she takes endless calls of animals in need and tries to get them help in whatever way we can. In between answering the many phone calls, she also has a lot of data entry and record keeping to maintain. We have been blessed to have her running the office all these years.
Claire Chmielewski - Happy Hearth Spay/Neuter Program
Claire started with Spring Farm CARES as an Office Assistant in 2000. Claire primarily runs the Happy Hearth Spay/Neuter Assistance office. She works in conjunction with Karen to be sure the program works smoothly. Claire brings tremendous people skills and dedication to helping so many animals in our county. She has talked to a lot of people and written lots of vouchers - so that by 2016 - we have facilitated the spay/neuter of nearly 80,000 animals. We are happy to have Claire on our team and keeping things running smoothly.
Joanne Miller - Bookkeeper/Fundraising
Joanne started with Spring Farm CARES in 2012 as our bookkeeper. Joanne brought with her not only bookkeeping experience but also specific experience in the non-profit sector which is very helpful for us. She also brings with her a love of animals and a dedication to the mission of Spring Farm CARES in particular. Joanne makes sure all of our books are maintained, our bills are paid, and a whole lot of forms and reports are filled out. Joanne brings together her love of animals and working with people to help out with our fundraising efforts as well. We are happy to have Joanne on our team keeping all of our i's dotted and t's crossed.