Executive Director, Founder
Mary worked initially in music and elementary education after graduating from Hope College in 1974. Her passion for teaching and working with animals continues to grow because of the profound effect the whole farm experience has on children and youth.
Faith is a Hope College graduate with a major in biology. She worked as a Zookeeper before coming to the Critter Barn and enjoys caring for animals, working and sharing with kids and adults alike. She is married to Nate and they have two dog’s, Arya and Maizy.
Guest Services Coordinator
Bonnie may be the first person you meet at Critter Barn as she is our Welcome Desk attendant. Her love of animals and children has made this job her all time favorite. In her spare time Bonnie plays golf, is a Hope College basketball fan, and an avid gardener.
Wally volunteers alongside his wife at the farm, while continuing professionally as a podiatrist. As one who multi-tasks around the farm, Wally says he has the best of all jobs. Whether doing small repairs, milking goats or taking guests around, he enjoys it all.
Special Friends Teacher
Our Special Friends program has been under the leadership of Mary for the past four years. With fifteen years experience in Holland Public Schools Special Education, she enjoys the healing benefit of visitors interacting with the animals and the farm environment.
For the past 20 years, Josh has called West Michigan home, and his enjoyment of the animals and the outdoors shows. Josh fosters puppies and holds a Communication degree. He encourages our Crew volunteers and manages our facility.
Makayla is a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration. Her position at Critter Barn combines her passions for animal care, youth education, and nonprofit work. In her spare time, she enjoys the beach and time with her dog Sadie.
Joyce grew on a dairy farm in Northern Michigan, and spent her childhood interacting with sheep, horses, cats, cows, pigs and rabbits. Joyce, her husband Dale, and her 14 precious grandchildren checked out the Critter Barn, and it touched her heart so much that she joined our staff. She truly enjoys sharing the joys of animals and farming!
Alivia is studying Natural Resource Management at GVSU. She enjoys being able to learn and care for the different animals on the farm. When Alivia is not at the Critter Barn, she enjoys running, scuba diving, and spending time with her dog Harry.
Zach brings diversity to Critter Barn. He's earned his Eagle Scout Rank, studied welding and worked previously at Padnos. He joined our staff in 2017 and enjoys working around the animals. He even has goats and chickens at home!
David has been providing graphic design for the Critter Barn for over a decade now. Evidence of his work is all around the farm and in our printed and digital materials. David believes in Critter Barn's mission and is honored to be a part of it.
Shakira is from Central Iowa and graduated from Iowa State (GO Cyclones!) with a degree in Animal Ecology. She has a background working at the Zoo working with various animals. When she’s not at the Farm, she enjoys being outdoors, exploring local restaurants and being creative.
Deb is a 7th & 8th grade Science teacher in Saugatuck. Volunteering at the Critter Barn is a great summertime opportunity for Deb to combine her love of animals and her passion for teaching. If you don't see her in the barn you'll find her working in our gardens.
Fourteen years ago, Emma started with Critter Barn as a weekly Crew volunteer. She has spent time in Uganda and Ethiopia, at the Yezalalen Minch School, focusing on children at risk, and has traveled with her father to Israel, Jordan and Egypt.