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.
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.
Bonnie is Critter Barn's Financial Secretary. 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.
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!
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 two kittens and dog Sadie.
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.
Catherine graduated from MSU spring of 2020 with a certificate in Landscape and Nursery Management. She has been playing in the dirt since she was a little girl, and her passion for nature, animals and gardening flow into all aspects of her life. When she's not working in her garden, Cat loves camping, hiking, and exploring God's green earth.
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.
Morgan is a student at Grand Valley State University pursuing a degree in Special Education. She has a passion for animals, and working with kids. In her spare time she enjoys playing waterpolo for GVSU and hanging out with some of her own farm animals, including her goat Ruby-Sue and her sheep Daffodil.
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.
Alisa works at the Critter Barn in fundraising, grant writing and educational programming. She has trained in Europe in traditional milling and became the first Dutch-certified miller in the Americas. When not working and being a mom, you might find her up north, sailing, baking or cutting & stacking firewood for her antique wood burning cookstove.
Ellie graduated from GVSU with a degree in Science and worked as a primate caretaker in Texas. After getting married, she moved to Las Vegas and earned her Masters of Education. She worked as a 3rd grade teacher there for two years before moving back to Michigan. Now she is excited to join a team that shares her passion for both animals and Education. In her free time, Ellie loves to read, garden and spend with with her family and fur babies.
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.
As Critter Barn's Executive Secretary, Amanda works along side our Director and schedules all our events! She loves to spend the weekends with her husband Cameron, her daughter Addison and their dog Izzy.