Who We Are
Andrea Guibord (Executive Director)
Andrea Guibord has spent the majority of her career strengthening nonprofits with mission drivers including youth development, healthcare and the arts. She majored in business/advertising in 1990 and most recently, returned to school to focus on her true passion: environmental biology. Andrea spent more than 15 years working in managerial and executive positions for a variety of non-profit organizations. While the career path that she fell into was challenging and fulfilling, she spent all of her life yearning to work in the environmental field.
In 2010, Andrea returned to school to focus her studies on ecology and environmental biology, and in 2012, graduated with a B.S in Integrated studies with an environmental biology focus. She plans to continue on and pursue a Masters in fisheries and wildlife.
During her second career as an FSU student, she was challenged with several opportunities for growth and experience. Firstly, a part time job and an internship with a YMCA camp allowed her to delve into the inner workings of a local wetland wherein she created and implemented updated wetland programming.
Secondly, she spent a summer working for the Department of Natural Resources as an educational outreach coordinator. This experience, coupled with strategic biological studies, allowed her to further research one of her greatest passions, the current state of the Great Lakes and her tributaries and the effects of varying invasive species on this important ecosystem, particularly Asian carp of the genus Hypophthalmichthys.
Lastly, she had the tremendous opportunity to work and train under the guidance of a published professor in Ferris State's pharmaceutical research lab. Employed as part of a team who synthesized and purified norel PPAR delta/gamma agonists for Type II diabetes using solid phase synthesis, Andrea was provided with tremendous experience in chromatography, separation and TLC plates for various structures. She became the lead chromatographer, managed the lab, and trained incoming students.
An integrated degree with an ecological and environmental focus coupled with a strong background in non-profit management allows her to bring stability and experience to a fledgling and rapidly growing organization.
Guibord has experience in growing local grass roots organizations and has also regionally managed national nonprofits including City of Hope National Medical Center and the American Lung Association. Andrea is a graduate of Ferris State University.
Jamie Weeder (Marketing and Events Coordinator)
Amber Faasan (Senior Animal Care Specialist)
Amber graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Zoo and Aquarium Science. All through college she worked with reptiles and amphibians from a couple of different jobs. At the end of her college career she interned at the Detroit Zoo in the Holden Reptile Conservation Center. Soon after that she started at her current position at the Great Lakes Zoological society. Amber says ever since she can remember she's been around reptiles and amphibians in one way or another. She grew up running with the Blue Racers and jumping into the ponds after frogs, and now she's turned her passion into a career.
Brittany Berkley (Zoo keeper)
In addition to her experience in a zoo environment, she has also worked as a camp counselor for VBS and YMCA Storer Camps. Brittany took on the role of zoo camp counselor here at GLZS in 2013 and made a great impact on the campers and the staff. Brittany's hard work and dedication to her passion are an asset to our rescue and education efforts.
One of Brittany's fondest memories was the summer after she finished her fifth grade year: she participated in a two week trip to Scotland and England with People to People Student Ambassador Programs. Says Brittany: This was a life changing experience that allowed me to experience a new culture and new wildlife!
Bethany Blease (Educational Coordinator)
Bethany is incredibly passionate about ecology and zoology education. She won first place at the World Water Day research poster competition for her research on the impact of Human Noise Pollution on marine animals. During her time as the teaching assistant for Biometrics, she realized how much she enjoys teaching others. She strives to be able to teach people about wildlife, conservation, and ecosystem ecology in a fun and creative ways.
After graduating Bethany moved to the Ann Arbor area and started her work at the Great Lakes Zoological Society. She is very excited to be working with the animals and a great team of people. Her favorite part of work is seeing all of the new faces coming in each day. In her eyes there is nothing better than spending your day with people who are passionate about animals and learning.
Board of Directors
Shelley Stoll developed a sense of wonder for the natural world at an early age, spending her free days exploring the woods and ponds around her home. After obtaining a B.S, in biology from the University of Michigan and gaining experience at a zoo, nature center, and the UM Exhibit museum, she pursued a master's in public health and established a career as a senior project manager in public health research. While her public health work is meaningful and rewarding, she hopes to give energy and time to her other passion, environmental education, by serving on the board of the GLZS.
Description coming soon.
Description coming soon.
Janella M. Poch
Janella M. Poch
Janella is a professional dog trainer. She teaches dog training classes in obedience and rally obedience. She loves showing her dogs and has won multiple awards in agility, obedience, and rally obedience. One of her dogs is a registered therapy dog and, along with Janella, will often visit nursing homes, mental health facilities, and reading programs for the kids
As a child Janella grew up with a variety of pets. She has always had dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, fish, and many other small mammals. It wasn't until April of 2013 that her interest in reptiles really grew. She rescued a Chinese Water Dragon and that led her to a whole new world of discovery with reptiles. She has taken a very special interest in the Bearded Dragon and Chinese Water Dragon and takes much pride trying to learn all she can about them. Janella has a strong passion for learning more about multiple reptile species. Her goal is to educate the public and help them learn the proper husbandry for all reptiles.
Her other hobbies include spending time with her family and friends, walking/hiking her dogs, handling her two lizards, being outdoors, reading, and watching a good movie.
Scientific Advisory Board
David A. Wooten
Dr. Shillington received her B.S. and M.S degrees from Washington State University, and she received her Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in 2001. Currently an Associate Professor at Eastern Michigan University Dr. Shillington takes an integrative, field-based, evolutionary approach to studying the physiological ecology of ectothermic organisms, especially arachnids and arthropods (but also including reptiles and amphibians). Her research concerns a variety of interactions between animals and their environments, including ecological energetics, behavioral ecology, thermoregulatory physiology and thermal ecology. Her research at this time centers on potentially adaptive whole-animal functions as expressed in the context of natural habitats including intra- and intersexual variation in energetics of tarantulas, and thermal preferences of a variety of organisms. Other areas of interest include studies of animal behavior, particularly sexual strategies and mating behavior, as well as feeding behaviors and preferences.
Dr. Gretchen Hui, DVM (Dr. Hui provides veterinary care to all the Center's animals)
Dr. Gretchen Hui, DVM
Brian brings both entomology and herpetology expertise to the GLZS. Brian has experience with honey bees, mantids, and rescue and rehab of indigenous turtles.
Janella M. Poch
The Great Lakes Zoological Society was founded by Mark and Jane Creswell in 2008 after becoming aware of the number of reptile and amphibian pets that were surrendered or improperly cared for. After several years of caring for a large number of unwanted pets, the couple opened the World of Discovery in 2011. Their goal was to educate the community by promoting conservation and coexisting with wildlife while serving as a rescue and rehabilitation center for reptiles and amphibians.