Vicky Keahey – President & CEO of In-Sync Exotics

vickyVicky has been working with animals for over 35 years. She first started with Afghan Hounds as a breeder and handler at dog shows. At the age of 20 she started her own grooming business and groomed dogs for 27 years. In addition to working with domestic dogs and cats, she has also worked horses for pole bending and barrel racing for playday activities. In 1990, while working as a veterinary technician, Vicky rescued her first cougar that was abandoned at the vet clinic where she worked. Eight years and two cats later, Vicky founded In-Sync Exotics and opened her door and her heart to many unwanted exotic cats. Vicky lives with her husband, over 50 exotic cats, a coatimundi, two lemurs, two horses, a dog and a whole bunch of house cats. Vicky’s son Justin has been a great help with the cats since he was 10.

Eddie Keahey – Vice President

eddieEddie owned and operated his own air-conditioning business and had just started his own pipe fencing business when he met Vicky. Since then he has worked with all aspects of electrical, mechanical, plumbing, construction and welding here at In-Sync. Eddie spent a year in Baghdad working as a civilian to install and repair air-conditioning units for the troops that were stationed at the palace. Much of the money he earned while he was there went towards the care of the cats of In-Sync. He now works as a conductor for the Kansas City Southern Railroad while still heading up the construction that goes on at In-Sync. In what little spare time Eddie has, he loves to sail.

Helen Truman – Secretary

helen

Helen joined the In-Sync family in 2007 as a volunteer to clean enclosures.  She is a former feeder and has been the Board Secretary for several years.  Besides her duties as Secretary she is also Enrichment Coordinator and Kids 4 Cats Coordinator.  Helen retired January 2016 after 25 years with Exxon Mobil Corporation as Sr. Staff Assistant in the Treasurers Department.  She now spends time with her family which includes 4 beautiful granddaughters, two rescued house cats and several feral cats. She is also a member of the IACUC committee.

Linda Brank – Director of Education

Before coming to In-Sync I had been volunteering for many years with school activities while my daughters were in middle school, high school and college.  PTA and Dallas County Aggie Moms’ Club were among some of the activities.

I started 3 years ago at In-Sync as a volunteer to clean enclosures, working in the commissary and giving tours.  My favorite cats are the lions, especially Kahn, Sheila and Athos.

While not at In-Sync I enjoy scrapbooking and going to our cabin in east Texas. I have been married to Jim for 37 years and have 2 daughters, Karen and Lisa and one grandson John.  We have two dogs Scooter, a Bichon Frise, and a sherperd mix named Mercie along with one cat named George.

Chemyn Reaney – Volunteer Coordinator

After volunteering for awhile cleaning cages and giving tours, Chemyn joined the board in 2006 as our Volunteer Coordinator.  She helps recruit and train our large volunteer staff, and serves on the enrichment team. When not at In-Sync, she works in an office. She and her husband live with their own rescued domestic cats and enjoy traveling.

Stephen Austin – Construction & Site Planning

stephenStephen volunteered to help build our leopard enclosure in 2006 and has been an integral part of our construction team ever since. He works closely with Eddie in all aspects of construction and maintenance. Stephen earns his living as a Building Engineer and has also volunteered his construction talents with other charitable organizations. He and his son Stephen, who are also volunteers at In-Sync, live in Wylie with their dog and 4 cats…all rescues.

Susan Adams – Donor Relations

Susan_A_picSusan has been volunteering at In-Sync since the Fall of 2011. To her, the opportunity to love and help these cats is a tremendous honor. Susan is current job is caring for a loved on with dementia. In what seem like past lives she’s been a serious photography hobbyist, Information Systems security auditor, and that horrible person at your cardiologist that makes you get on the dreaded treadmill. As you can see, she’s never been sure what she wanted to do be when she grew up, but one thing is for sure, she adores the cats of In-Sync!

Judy Chapla – Director of Grants

Before Moving to the Dallas area, Judy volunteered for 15 years with a Fire Department obtaining certifications as a CPR instructor, Emergency Medical Technician, Certified Texas Firefighter, Communications specialist and certified driver.

She started volunteering at ISE in the fall of 2010 to clean enclosures and for several years has been working in the commissary. Judy also trains people to work in the commissary, gift shop and is also a member of the IACUC committee.

Judy has been married to Chris Chapla for 46 years, is a mother on 1 and grandmother of 2. Her daughter and grand kids have lived next door to her for the last 15 years. Judy and Chris have 3 fur babies of their own. She plays lots of poker, love talking to people and is a big Dallas Cowboy fan.

Angela Culver – Media

angela_culverAngela has loved animals for as long as she can remember, and at age six she decided she wanted to be a zoologist just like her uncle. She is currently pursuing her degree in Wildlife Biology while working full time. Angela had been working with birds of prey when she spotted a flyer for In-Sync’s Big Cat Birthday Bash in the summer of 2010. She went out for a visit, and was soon volunteering. Besides working with the cats and all of the amazing people at In-Sync, she loves talking with the visitors, educating them about the cats as well as their wild cousins. Angela lives with her fiance, Jedi, and their four cats, all rescues. In her free time, Angela loves hiking, camping, spending time with friends, and working on indie films.

Rachel Alvarez – Events Coordinator

Rachel visited In-Sync Exotics for the first time in May of 2015, for her birthday. She has a love and fascination for animals, especially exotic cats. So she was excited to learn about the sanctuary and volunteer opportunities. After cleaning enclosures for a year, Rachel joined the board of director as the events coordinator.  She is also a member of the feeding team. She lives with her husband Brandon and works as a medical receptionist.

Ryan Shaw – Animal Health

Ryan Shaw Ryan has been fascinated with animals since his first dog slept under his bassinet when he was a new born. Unfortunately, Ryan is also very allergic to domesticated animals.  However by being an animal care senior volunteer, he found out that he is not at all allergic to wild cats. Hallelujah!!  After visiting ISE several times and becoming a cat sponsor, he decided it was time to give of his time.  So he became a volunteer in 2014 and an member of the enrichment team in 2016.  Ryan lost his eldest son right after he started his volunteer orientation and quickly learned that ISE is a healing place & sanctuary for everyone.  He has been a RN for over 40 years and eagerly learning how to translate his human clinical care expertise into exotic feline clinical care.

Key Staff

Emily Wilson, D.V.M. – Vet

Ever since Emily’s first viewing of The Lion King at the young age of five, her interests have been primarily focused on lions and other big cats, with the ultimate goal of one day becoming a veterinarian. She accomplished that goal by completing her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015.

Emily spent many of her summers during her undergraduate years at Lee McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina, and throughout vet school, working as an animal keeper at Tiger Haven. This big cat sanctuary in Kingston, TN is home to 300 lions, tigers, and other big cats. She also completed internships at the Conservators’ Center in North Carolina, as well as the Nashville Zoo. Emily has traveled to South Africa for a wildlife conservation internship in Hoedspruit, and a summer with a veterinarian in Lephalale. On these trips, she participated in everything from collecting data on lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and various hoofstock, to assisting with immobilization of antelope and rhinos for relocation and veterinary care.

Emily enjoys all aspects of exotic cat medicine, and is especially interested in cancer and neurologic diseases affecting these felines. During her training UTCVM, she was privileged to contribute to research sponsored by the National Institute of Health, which she looks forward to continuing.

In her free time, Emily enjoys hanging out with her dog, Lulu, taking pictures, drawing, and collecting rocks/gemstones. She is very happy to be a part of the In-Sync family!

Robin Gibson – Office Manager

Adriene Goforth – Lead Keeper

Adriene first came to In Sync as an intern during the Summer of 2013. She was also enrolled in vet tech courses and working at a local petting zoo, but quickly realized that In Sync was where she wanted to stay. When offered a keeper position during her internship, she enthusiastically agreed!

Outside of In Sync, Adriene enjoys gardening and has an ever-growing African Violet collection. She is a true crime television aficionado and a lover of all cake.

Andrea Torina – Curator

AndreaAndrea first came to In-Sync as a volunteer in 2009. We knew in the first 4 months that Andrea was going to be a great asset to In-Sync. Andrea used to volunteer with the Kids wheelchair Basketball as a coaching assistant. She has always loved working with her own cats and wanted someday to work and learn all she could about big cats. Andrea learned very quickly and showed that she could be very dependable. In 2012 we were able to hire Andrea as a keeper and we are very fortunate to have her on our staff. Andrea loves to read and feels it’s one of the best ways of learning about the cats she now cares for. She also likes to make jewelry and can play 3 instruments. Andrea wanted to someday work with the big cats in Africa; we hope now, she is here to stay!

Kendal Crixel – Keeper

Kendall has always had a soft spot for animals. She volunteered at the SPCA for a year where she learned how to train dogs. During this time she helped train shelter dogs to hopefully make it easier for them to be adopted. When she started volunteering at In-sync Exotics she instantly feel in love with exotics and big cats. Kendall was hired at the beginning of November 2016 and has loved being a keeper. She is taking classes to get her degree in zoology and plans to help all kinds of exotic animals in the future. Kendall adopted an adorable black kitten from a shelter and he follows her all around. His name is Meeko. Kendall’s favorite thing is watching TV and cuddling with Meeko.

Jennifer Hatch – Keeper

Jennifer Hatch Jennifer has always been drawn to animals, especially cats, reptiles, and raptors. Jennifer started volunteering in January 2016,  and knew that she wanted to work with big cats in the future.  Jennifer attends Tarrant County Collage and is working towards a degree in zoology.  She was hired as a staff member in October 2016, and is very thankful for her opportunity to work with these majestic animals. She really likes learning everything she can to help out the cats. Jennifer enjoys being with nature, going on hikes, and camping. She loves to see wild things in their natural state.  She wants to learn more about big cat species in the wild and hopes to see less harm to them all, one day.

Renato Lule – Keeper

 Renato grew up around animals all of his life and has always felt an attachment to all of them big or small. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. He started as an intern in January of 2017 and was hired on as a keeper once his internship was over in April of 2017. He hopes to continue to learn as much as he can about any and all of the cats and continue to provide them the best home possible. When he isn’t working, Renato enjoys reading comic books and playing video and board games.

Brittney Russel – Vet Tech and Clinic Manager

 Brittney started as a volunteer with us in 2013 and was asked to join In-Sync full time in 2016 as our veterinary technician and clinic manager. She fell in love with veterinary medicine at a young age while following around her family’s veterinarian who took care of their many pets. He allowed her to do her first ultrasound at age 8 and she was hooked! While she had worked mostly in small animal general practitioner clinics, she always aimed to work with avians, marine life, and large exotics. She moved to Hawaii where she spent time enjoying underwater photography and working with many avian species and birds of prey. Upon her returning, Brittney had an opportunity to assist in surgery on a bobcat who had been ensnared in a trap. After that experience, she was determined to seek out more work with large exotic cats; including her childhood favorite, the Lion. She now assists Dr. Emily Wilson in providing the best medical care for our beloved cats. She especially enjoys continuing her education, clicker training the cats for medical procedures, and performing dental cleanings on her patients. She shares her home with her fiance, Matthew, and their two children, Ashlyn and Aiden.  They have 6 cats, 5 chickens, 4 fish, 2 dogs and a ball python.