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EXECUTIVE BOARD

HELENA KRIEL

Founder and Board President

Helena Kriel was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a child, holidays were spent in the bush, and she developed a deep love for animals. She worked in television and theater in South Africa before going to Los Angeles. She won a Steven Spielberg award and became a working screenwriter, with two produced movies to her credit. She mentors screenwriters in the Spalding University MFA program.

She founded her first non-profit, Walk for the Underdog, in 2004 which raised awareness for abused and homeless dogs. An annual event was held that brought thousands of people together, raising substantial funds for dog rescue. She loves animals, and has worked with baby birds, skunks, possums, chimpanzees and has spent time with the remarkable pangolin. But her commitment is to rhinos and she has spent many thousands of hours in their company.

DAVID WALKER

Co-Founder and Board Treasurer

A passion for nature and respect for all wild creatures are the common threads linking the multiple phases of David Walker’s personal and professional life. These include: a career as an award-winning journalist, writer and editor, media relations consultant, a non-profit association manager and director, Peace Corps Volunteer and environmentalist. This father of two sons is deeply committed to preserving ecosystems and saving from extinction the planet’s iconic species, including rhinos.

CARLA MELUCCI

Board - Vice President

Carla is a native New Englander who holds a BS in Biology and an MS in Zoology. An animal lover from a young age, wildlife conservation became her passion after working on multiple sea turtle projects throughout the southern US and the Caribbean. In November 2016, she volunteered at the CFW rhino sanctuary, where she was lucky enough to be the ‘mom’ to Jemu. Since then, she has returned to CFW, and has also volunteered at a big cat sanctuary in South Africa, a gorilla sanctuary in Gabon and two wildlife sanctuaries in Zimbabwe. She hopes to continue to help wildlife in need for as long as she can!

karina suter

KARINA SUTER

Director of Operations, Waterberg

I am an amateur wildlife photographer that totally adores rhinos. Leopards were my original target but soon I got focussed on the plight of our rhino. Once you have heard those rhino orphan babies cries you will never forget it. These beautiful gentle sentinel beings need our help. I want to help them. And I’m going to try and do it the one way I can. By making people aware of their plight and by donating to foundations that I trust with my photography. My goal is to be a photographer for endangered animals.

WORKING GROUP

KELLY WEATHERMAN

A Colorado native, Kelly has always had a passion for wildlife conservation. She received her bachelor of science from Colorado State in Natural Resource Management and spent time in Washington DC working with agencies on wildlife protection and management. More recently she is involved with local animal rescue programs in the Seattle area.

Kelly also loves to travel internationally and volunteered at Kariega Game Reserve where she fell in love with rhinos. She is determined to help protect these animals by bringing people together through education and awareness.

CHRIS WEATHERMAN

Project Manager, Cameras
I’ve always had a passion for animals, wildlife, and the environment. My parents, who grew up in the farming world, taught me to appreciate the wonders we have here on our planet. I am fortunate that there are great opportunities here in Colorado that allow me to interact with nature. I endeavored to pass this appreciation along to my children who are also involved with Baby Rhino Rescue. A proud moment in my life.
After receiving a degree in BioScience, I owned a successful business for 32 years. It allowed me the opportunity to contribute back to our wildlife community. Working with conservation along with my children is a dream come true.

CHANÉ SMIT

Graphic Designer

Hi! My name is Chané Smit. I am a Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Photographer with a strong passion for art and animals. When I was younger it was my dream to be out in the field and help rescue our beautiful animals, but when that dream fell through I relied on my love of art to help me through the existential crisis I was facing. Graphic Design and Photography quickly became my new passion, but still I had this emptiness inside me I couldn’t shake. It wasn’t until I found Baby Rhino Rescue and started designing with them that I felt the emptiness start to subside. Two of my passions collide and I couldn’t be happier. Finally I could help our beautiful rhinos by using my art. I may not be in the field, but though little, I still have my part and I am proud to be a Baby Rhino Rescue contributor!

RYAN JONES

Videographer

Ryan was born in England and now lives in Canada. He earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Content Creation and Broadcast. He’s worked in video production for over ten years in sport, music, and documentaries. It was directing a documentary traveling from South Africa to Kenya that stirred his passion for wildlife conservation. Filming with an anti-poaching team in Malawi, he witnessed first hand the devastation of poaching. Ryan is extremely excited to be a part of the BRR team in helping save the rhino from extinction.

RENE BREIER PHD

Co-Founder, Blog Writer

Rene became connected to nature from an early age in South Africa. Frequent visits to the Kruger National Park cemented her love for Africa’s wildlife. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she is a Master Gardener. She worked with Helena Kriel to develop Walk for the Underdog in Los Angeles. Rene holds a Ph.D in English literature.

DIONNE DOMYAN-MUDIE

Public Relations

Dionne was born in Johannesburg and has always had a passion for nature. Over the past few years she has watched how poaching has ravaged wildlife globally but felt helpless in the call to action, compounded by the fear of not being able to cope with the severity of the situation. After reading Meditating with Rhinos and feeling the connection to these magnificent animals through Helena’s own words, Dionne knew that she had found a calling. As the founder of one of SA’s leading PR firms, TPW Agency, Dionne has decided to bring the power of her company to www.babyrhinorescue.org to assist in creating awareness on a global scale.

BRIAN WEATHERMAN

Campaign Associate

I am a native Coloradan where I still live today with my family. An animal lover from a young age, I have always loved nature and spending time with and learning about all creatures, from small insects to large, majestic rhinos. I have proudly worked with and sponsored several animal rescue programs in the past and am a believer in conservation and building love and mutual respect for all animals and the ecosystems we share. My sister Kelly Weatherman has been involved with BRR for a number of years and her experience with these amazing animals attracted me to start helping with fundraisers and spreading awareness. In 2021, when I was invited to join Seha’s Fund, I found a global team of people unlike any other I have ever been a part of. The joys and wins for Seha and the other rhinos which BRR and its donors have supported are truly astonishing. This is a team of people who love nature, love conservation, and love rhinos. I am lucky to be a small part of it.

TAMARYN NICHOLSON

Publicist

Tamaryn Nicholson, hungry to learn and gain experience, specialises in digital PR, events and influencer marketing campaigns but enjoys getting involved in all aspects of the many projects TPW works on. Tamaryn is a VEGA graduate and has a keen interest in music and the entertainment scene. Also a performer under the stage name KARMA, Tamaryn has music being playlisted on radio stations across South Africa.

ROBIN LEUCI

Video Content Creator

Robin is very passionate about what he does, his approach has always been hands on; being involved every step of the way, including client communications, project planning, filming, post-production and media management. Robin graduated with a BA in film in 2007, Over the years he has furthered his experience by working with many great industry professionals, giving him the opportunity to express his creativity and work ethic with the insights, skills, and knowledge shared with others along the way.

Robin’s life has always been intertwined with nature and animals, spending a lot of time outdoors with family and friends involved in nature conservation and animal welfare

He has a great respect and love for all animal life and the environment, his goal has always been to bring his two passions together, video production and nature. Robin has been fortunate enough to be involved in numerous nature and animal projects, furthering his reach towards helping with wildlife conservation and making a difference is one of his key focuses.