Co-Founder/Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, Maria brings over 25 years of management, consulting, leadership, and IT experience with large fortune 100 to 500 companies across telecommunication, travel, retail and medical solutions industries. She works to move PRH forward with an innovative and strategic approach through collaboration, brainstorming, and tapping external resources for expertise.
Chief Financial Officer
Claire has a Bachelor degree with a major in Accounting from Florida Southern College and became a Florida CPA in 1996. Claire has worked in private industry during her entire career and has been with BCD Travel, a corporate travel agency with US headquarters in Atlanta since 1988. Claire’s current role at BCD Travel is Director of Accounting with responsibility for, among other things, the financial reporting and taxes for the BCD Travel Foundation which is a 501(c)(3).
Claire and her husband share their home with 4 Umbrella Cockatoos. The cockatoos range in age from 32 years to 11 years. 3 of the 4 were adopted from rescues.
Chief Operating Officer
As a lifelong Atlanta resident, Sally is thrilled to have discovered PRH practically in her backyard. Her first bird was a cockatiel, who tragically developed cancer and passed away. Sally couldn’t imagine life without birds at that point, however, so she has since adopted a Goffin’s Cockatoo named Willow, and is presently fostering Stevie the Sulfur Crested Cockatoo with the hope of adding him to the family permanently.
Her dedication to the mission of PRH began with the outpouring of love and support they provided when her beloved Walt was sick, and only increased as they assisted with the adoption of Willow and fostering Stevie. She is passionately committed to improving the lives of companion birds, as well as educating fellow bird owners and the community at large about the specialized care needs of birds.
Sally’s career has involved growing and managing small businesses, beginning with managing a law firm that grew from a single attorney to an eight lawyer firm with a full staff of support personnel in only 7 years. Her next challenge was found right at home, as Sally and her husband Jody launched their own production company, Atlanta ImageArts, Inc., that is now in its 23rd year. Working with clients as diverse as movie studios, worldwide airlines, major retailers, and financial institutions, Sally serves as the director of operations, handling processes and policy, and managing the full time and freelance staff, as well as coordinating worldwide production of television and video content for their clients.
She hopes to put those skills to good use in serving both the birds and humans of the Papayago Rescue House community.
Chief Technology Officer
Chris graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and Engineering. He comes to us with 15 years of IT experience and has managed teams of various sizes.
While growing up as a child his family owned budgies and a cockatiel. He and his wife have adopted two budgies and a pineapple green cheek conure.
Lori graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Kennesaw State University in 2010. Of her accounting experience, four years were working for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. She enjoys the detail oriented work and organization accounting and her role as Board Secretary for Papayago Rescue House require. Lori is now a Stay at Home Mom to her daughter and feather babies.
Chief Communications Officer
Janelle relocated to Georgia in 1985, and within 6 months had acquired 4 large parrots who needed homes. Those birds in need created the beginning of a beloved life interaction with companion and rescue birds that extends to today. Janelle’s Atlanta bird community involvement included 911 Parrot Alert, Companion Bird Club of Atlanta, The Georgia Cage Bird Society, The Georgia Companion Bird Society, Miss Vicki’s Parrot Village, and of course, Papayago Rescue House, Inc.
As the Chief Communications Officer, Janelle’s responsibilities include all public relations within the PRH organization, managing the organization’s reputation as seen and understood by the public and working closely with the board to help shape and implement the strategic vision for Papayago Rescue House.
Chief Education Officer
Pam has been entranced by birds her entire life. When growing up, she had numerous budgies which were trained and became a big part of her family. After college, she obtained her first cockatiel. Then in 1999 she was present with a troubled previously homed male umbrella cockatoo and thus began her work in rescue and re-homing of birds. She can not imagine her life without birds and especially cockatoos. Since 1999, the number of birds living at her home varies with a mix of her own, fosters and boarders. But it seems she always has more cockatoos than anything else. She is constantly learning new things about these lovely feathered creatures and enjoy sharing that knowledge with others.
Brianna has been in Georgia since she was very young and found it lacking in support for the local parrots. She decided that needed to change and became Executive Director of Papayago Rescue House. She is a proud mother to several birds including a Mitered Conure, a Citron Cockatoo, and a Blue and Gold Macaw. She is currently doing her undergraduate work for veterinarian school and will specialize in avian medicine. Whatever the medical needs of the parrots in PRH she takes care of it. This includes daily medications, supplements, bandaging, or other special needs. Brianna works closely with Megan, our Assistant Director to ensure the best care is brought to the birds of Papayago.
Megan has been serving as the daily care coordinator of Papayago Rescue House for close to 6 years. She has been a foster, an adopter, and has given her heart to every feathered being who has passed through our doors. In her position, she has maintained the daily care and upkeep of our birds and facility to the best of her ability, with the help of our awesome volunteers. Her love of animals has always been deep in her soul. As a child, she tried to rescue worms, fallen baby birds, injured bunnies, and any stray cats or dogs she happened to come across. As a teenager, she worked with horses as a stable hand and went on to work in a doggy daycare in her early 20’s.
Jan moved to Atlanta, GA in late 1998 from Lexington, KY. She has since worked for the State of Georgia as an Interpretive Ranger at Red Top Mountain. She expanded into animal care by becoming a volunteer animal transporter. Then she became the rescue coordinator for the Etowah Valley Humane Society. During her time with EVHS, she was responsible for reducing euthanasia rates in the county through her communication and coordination with rescue groups. She has applied her communication, rescue infrastructure and knowledge and bird skills of 34 years to Papayago Rescue House policy and procedure development. She now oversees the In-Home Care program and is also the Surrender Coordinator. She is also our resident African Grey behavioral guru. She is owned by 6 birds, and 1 dog and is a PRH hospice care provider. If you need to surrender a bird and want to discuss options, please contact Jan at surrenders. If you require at-home care for your birds, please contact Jan below
Dean moved to Georgia at 18 for college and recently graduated with a degree in early childhood education. Dean joined Papayago in October of 2018 as a foster parent. He has 3 birds (Darwin a parrotlet, Oliver a lovebird, and Nacho a white bellied caique). He tries to help the rescue as much as possible between jobs and activities.
Alex grew up in Johns Creek and moved to the East Cobb area in 2015. He’s had birds as pets since he was five years old, starting with Flapper, the cockatiel, and now currently has two caiques, Taco and Queso, who keep him and his wife Caitlin laughing every day. Alex graduated from Kennesaw State University with an Undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Data Analysis, and went on to complete his Master’s degree in Applied Statistics. He is currently the Director of Data Analytics for a marketing firm in the Buckhead area. He also plays in a blues rock band, the Night Howlers, as their drummer and backup vocalist.
Director of Education
Michelle is a Rehabilitation Neuropsychologist by day and a Bird Nerd by – well, all the time, actually. Having cohabited with cockatiels since she was five years old, she currently resides with a flock of six (including her first, who is now in his mid-20s!) In rescue, she puts her rehabilitation and medical skills to use working with birds that have special behavioral and health needs. As Director of Education, Michelle combines her academic medical chops with her nerdy bird passion to seek out the latest science and share it with the community.
Director of Social Media
Caitlin Elmes has been living in Georgia for ten years. A graduate of Georgia Southern University with her BS in Interior Design, she has worked in several related fields with her most recent and fulfilling career in the film industry as a Set Decoration Buyer. Caitlin came to Papayago only six months ago but has jumped in with both feet helping out with events and is happy to join the team as Director of Social Media. She is an adoring mom to two young Caiques name Queso and Taco who take some of their comedic references from their Dad and fellow volunteer Alex Barnes.
Director of Philanthropy
Tullan is an experienced Executive Director, having worked in the Higher-Education Field, Travel & Tourism Industry, and the Non-profit Management Industry. Skilled in Training, Public Speaking, Public Relations, Consulting, Customer Service, and Fundraising, she has lived and worked on four continents and six countries and is a strong international business development professional with a Master of Science in Economics & Public Affairs. She also serves as Executive Director of the Bells Ferry Civic Association, a non-profit that represents area residents and protects their quality of life by lobbying, negotiating and working closely with local legislators, law enforcement officials and neighborhood associations.
Tullan has a 44 year old Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoo that she acquired in Australia when he was 8 years old. He also lived with her in Ireland and Belgium. Please contact her directly to learn how you can become a sponsor, partner or make a tax-deductible contribution to PRH.