Development Director

Sandra Ames

Moving to Rogers, AR in January of 2017, was serendipitous.  After the Door Co., WI yacht builder I’d done marketing for since 2005 closed its U.S. yard and moved manufacturing operations to Europe I opted to add to my marketing degree, returning to college to study Nonprofit Management in hopes I could finally realize my lifelong dream of helping animals for a living.   Since the classes were all offered online and the kids were grown and moved out, I decided to sell the homestead in D.C. and moved to Rogers for its climate and infrastructure.

In Spring 2018, I reached out to Turpentine Creek to fulfill my unpaid internship semester by helping with grant research and writing; since I had experienced their walking tour the past Nov. I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about the animals, and the mission of this sanctuary. After my internship ended I joined the staff in June as Stewardship Writer, after my predecessor left.  To work with such passionate and dedicated people, all of whom give 200% of themselves every day for the animals, is amazing.  It is a privilege be a voice for these incredible animals, and to get to know them as individuals.  Their stories are painful to hear, but their transformation once they adjust to the wonderful care, proper diet, and enrichment at the Refuge is incredibly inspiring.  Here they can live as respected wild animals, for the rest of their lives.

Through development letters, grant writing, and developing our membership programs I hope to increase our wonderful donor base while nurturing lifelong relationships with these passionate animal lovers, whose generosity enables us to continually grow and improve.  New programs for children and teenagers will help ensure that exotic animals face a better future, creating advocates who can truly make a positive difference the future of our planet, while our proposed Education Center will greatly increase our educational outreach.   It is this kind of forward thinking and constant desire to improve that make Turpentine Creek so special.