Kim Sturla is the Executive Director of Animal Place and co-founded the sanctuary in 1989. She has been a central figure in the animal rights movement for 30 plus years. Sturla wrote the first law in the country that protects pre-university students unwilling to participate in animal dissections. For more than a decade, she served as director of the Peninsula Humane Society. Kim is the resident Pig Whisperer, able to communicate beautifully with even the wiliest of pigs! She shares her home and life with dogs Ralph, Marty, and Sally.
Marji Beach is the Education Director for the Grass Valley sanctuary and the Adoption Manager for Rescue Ranch and has been with Animal Place since 2004. She earned her BS in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis. She oversees the education and advocacy programs at the sanctuary, including tours, cooking classes, volunteer workshops, and campaigns. She is editor of the quarterly magazine and website, and puts to good use her writing. You can see her photography of the animals here. She loves the cows and chickens! Marji is owned by a 14-yr-old pink-nosed pit bull named Mina and a 5-yr-old blue-eyed Mexi-mutt named Celeste.
Toni Okamoto is the Social Media and Campaigns Coordinator. More info coming soon!
Molly Jordan is the Internship and Outreach Coordinator who started with Animal Place in March of 2012. She has ten years of experience running and operating an internship and volunteer program. Everything she needed to know about life, she learned from bovines! She shares her home with her feline friends and dog!
Animal Care Staff
Jamie London is the Animal Care Directorfor the Grass Valley sanctuary and Rescue Ranch. London started She earned a BS in Animal Science from the University of Florida. Her background with farmed animals is immense, having spent nearly 6 years as caregiver for farmed animals at another sanctuary. She has a wealth of experience in managing farmed animals and their special care. Turkeys are her favorite sanctuary animals, but she loves them all! She lives with two dogs, Pixie and Wendal.
Ciara Fiack is one of our two full-time animal caregivers at the Grass Valley sanctuary. Her background is in Animal Science, having worked at UC Davis in the past.
Celeste de Santiago is a full-time animal caregiver at our Grass Valley sanctuary.
Jacie Volek is a part-time animal caregiver who shares her life with a lovely house bunny. Additionally, she is the adoption coordinator for Rescue Ranch.
David Phinney is the animal care coordinator for all animals who end up at Animal Place's Rescue Ranch facility in Vacaville.
HorticultureGreg Litus, PhD is a true renaissance man. He maintains the grounds, monitors the pastures and coordinates the proper diversion and management of our water. He is also responsible for the 4-acre organic, vegan community garden.
AdministrationEstelle is our part-time book keeper and donor steward.
Kristin is our part-time administrative assistant.
Dr. Ned Buyukmihci served as a faculty member at UC Davis for more than 20 years. His visionary ideals and uncompromising values often jeopardized his career as he challenged the conservative status quo of his profession. He co-founded Animal Place with Kim Sturla. Currently, he serves on Animal Place's board.
Nedim Buyukmihci, VMD
Diana Phillips, DVM
Conflict of Interest Policy (word doc)