Nikki Bollaert joined Farm Sanctuary in 2011 as senior director of development. Nikki has served nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and faith communities during her 20 years as a fundraising professional. At Farm Sanctuary, Nikki leads a Development team of 15 staff members, overseeing a diverse set of fundraising programs that generate the majority of Farm Sanctuary’s annual revenue. Nikki holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management, is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, and is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy®. When she isn’t figuring out how to raise more money to help farm animals, she can be found hanging out with her vegan human family as well as her household’s bunny, cat, and dogs.
Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary’s national shelter director, joined us in March 2000, following six years working for a veterinarian and at a sanctuary in West Virginia. Before that, she earned a master’s degree in special education and worked with kids with disabilities. As a farm animal caregiver for more than a decade, Coston has been a mentor to many of her peers (some of whom have started their own sanctuaries throughout the United States) and is known for bringing the animals’ stories of love, loss, and life to the public. She ensures that the hundreds of farm animals sheltered at Farm Sanctuary each year receive the best possible care at every stage of their lives.
Tara Oresick, director of our Northern California Shelter, started her relationship with Farm Sanctuary as an intern in 2008. She joined the staff as a caregiver in 2009, became the shelter manager in 2010, and became shelter director in January 2012. Tara has a master’s degree in inclusive education and has worked as a one-on-one aide and as a special education teacher. Meeting the residents of the New York Shelter during a visit in 2008 galvanized her to pursue a career providing direct aid to these animals whom society exploits and ignores. Overseeing a full staff at the Northern California Shelter, Tara ensures that all of the sanctuary’s 300-plus rescued animals receive expert, individualized care.
Michelle Waffner has been with Farm Sanctuary for 13 years and currently works as Farm Sanctuary’s education director based at our New York Shelter. In addition to managing the education department, Michelle oversees on-shelter events and the internship and visitor programs at all three sanctuaries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Binghamton University. When she isn’t applying her skills on the farm, Michelle volunteers at Ithaca Children’s Garden.