Hose2Habitat Founders and Board of Directors
Founders Anthony Slamin and Lisa Daly met when they volunteered as Emergency Medical Technicians with the same fire department. Their complementary skills, mutual love of the environment and animals, and work as volunteer EMTs with fire departments - where they saw dumpsters of fire hose taken to landfills - led to the establishment of Hose2Habitat, which partners zoos, animal sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation centers with sources of surplus fire hose and other recyclable materials to repurpose the fire hose and other materials as habitat enrichment for animals in zoos, sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation centers. Lance Salins brings his expertise and joins Tony and Lisa to complete the board of directors. Lisa, Tony, and Lance are not compensated for their position on the board or for any other work they do for Hose2Habitat. They volunteer their time to Hose2Habitat. In addition, Hose2Habitat has 100% board giving as the founders and other board members each also donate funds with an annual pledge to the organization.
Anthony V. Slamin, Co-Founder, Director of Operations
Tony was a lieutenant with Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service in Maryland where he volunteered for over a decade and retired as a life member. He is an EMT, a trained firefighter, a fire investigator, a hazardous materials responder, an emergency response vehicle driver, a retired military medic, a war veteran, and an all-around good guy to have on your side. He focuses on general operations and logistics for Hose2Habitat, in addition to leading enrichment workshop sessions. Oh, he also has a "day job".
Lisa M. Daly, Esq., Co-Founder, Executive Director
Lisa is an attorney and has worked as nonpartisan counsel for the United States Congress for more than 25 years. She studied environmental and human rights law in the United States, Europe, and Central America. Her doctoral thesis work was on market incentives for environmentally sustainable practices. Lisa's areas of expertise include Native American law, appropriations, natural resources, public lands, water rights, and other environmental issues. Lisa worked as a volunteer EMT for Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service in Maryland for more than 5 years before leaving that role to form Hose2Habitat. She is the executive director of Hose2Habitat, which means she does all the stuff no one else does, in addition to leading enrichment workshop sessions.
Lance Salins, Deputy Director of Operations, Supreme Chancellor of Dancing
Lance is the business director for a multi-million dollar non-profit organization located in Montgomery County, Maryland, where he has strategic and operational responsibility for brick-and-mortar and online retail stores, core programs, expansion, fundraising, marketing, special events, community outreach, and execution of its mission. He is involved in almost every aspect of the nonprofit and brings this wealth of knowledge and expertise to Hose2Habitat as a member of its Board of Directors. In addition, Lance assists with enrichment workshops with zoos making fire hose balls, browsers, hammocks, and other items. He also helps throw hose into storage and vehicles because he's almost as brawny as he is brainy...and that's amazing.
Hose2Habitat Board of Advisors
When we started Hose2Habitat, we knew almost nothing about enrichment. Since the original idea for Hose2Habitat was just to donate fire hose to a couple of zoos, that was ok. Now we do a lot more than donate fire hose with a lot more than a couple of zoos. We've learned a lot about enrichment and animal care, mostly from keepers and other zoo staff (and Lisa Daly reads a LOT). But our ignorance is still - colossal. So, we ask a lot of questions. There are some animal care professionals who we rely on more than most, asking questions and requesting advice as well as looking to them as volunteer workshop leaders and contributors to our enrichment instruction website page. We admire and respect their knowledge, passion, professionalism, kindness, and generosity. We are honored to officially recognize these people as the Hose2Habitat Board of Advisors.
for many reasons: budgets, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and keeper morale, to name a few. Mandy won a category in our 2nd Annual Enrichment Contest. There are few things more rewarding to Mandy than seeing the animals use the enrichment she builds.
We met Mandy when we were delivering enrichment materials and consulting with Julie Grove (our fabulous and esteemed Annual Enrichment Contest Advisor and Judge) at the zoo. We are fortunate that Mandy is a big believer in communication and sharing ideas, helping to motivate and inspire herself and others to keep the animal welfare field moving forward; she did not hesitate to offer to help us in any way she could. Since she so innocently made that generous offer, we have benefitted from her knowledge, kindness, and creativity and we are grateful to have her as a member of our Advisory Board.
Hose2Habitat Enrichment Contest Advisor and Judge
Julie Grove, Cincinnati Zoo (Official bio and photo pending.)
Kelli Araujo, Senior Animal Care Specialist, SeaWorld San Diego
Kelli has worked at SeaWorld of San Diego since 2002. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, was one class away from being a theater minor, and holds a specialty certificate in Exotic Animal Training and Management from Moorpark College. She has worked at the San Diego Zoo, served on Seaworld's enrichment committee, and worked with many animals, including pandas, muntjac, many avian species, polar bears, beluga whales, arctic foxes, Commerson’s dolphins, harbor seals, and one ringed seal. One of her greatest loves is problem solving and working with other keepers to create enrichment that animals can enjoy.
We met Kelli after she emailed us asking to be involved with Hose2Habitat, including her areas of expertise, photos of her work, and detailed ideas for what she would like to do to help further our mission. She is our go to workshop instructor for aquatic enrichment, including stitching, weaving, and knotting fire hose to create hardware-free fire hose enrichment.
Chris Ashley, Dolphin Trainer, Georgia Aquarium
Chris has worked in the industry for more than 5 years with a large diversity of species, including primates, hoofstock, reptiles, carnivores, birds, and marine mammals. He loves to work with fire hose to supplement enrichment programs and provide the highest quality of welfare for the animals. Chris finds that building fire hose is an awesome stress reliever and a workout with a huge payoff when he sees animals interacting with and exploring the enrichment.
We met Chris when he won a category in our 1st Annual Enrichment Contest. He soon became a Hose2Habitat volunteer workshop leader, and we are grateful and often amazed at his generosity and energy as he hosts and leads enrichment workshops in zoos and aquariums throughout the United States and shares the materials and resources available from Hose2Habitat with others in the zoological field at conferences. And now, we have the extremely good fortune of having him on our Advisory Board.
Emily Bowling, Conservation Education Liaison, Saint Louis Zoo
Emily has been working in the zoo field since 2005. She runs the volunteer enrichment build team, leads a “STEM using enrichment” teacher workshop, and frequently builds enrichment with students and community groups. Emily has a degree in Technical Theatre with an emphasis in painting, props, and puppetry. Using her theatre background, she has been known to create unique and slightly unconventional enrichment items. Emily loves being able to transfer her theatre creativity into making things that increase animal welfare and she will teach anyone and everyone about enrichment if given the chance - and we definitely give her the chance when we can!
We met Emily when 2-time Enrichment Contest winner and Hose2Habitat Advisor Ethan Riepl asked if Emily could "tag along" when he helped lead our workshop at the Houston Zoo. We were...skeptical...until about 5 seconds after we met her. We've admired and respected her ever since. Emily often joins us at workshops as a volunteer workshop leader and we are happy to have the benefit of her unique perspective on enrichment and her advice on many things related to the zoo world.
Ethan Riepl, Primate Keeper, Saint Louis Zoo
Ethan has been working as a small primate keeper for the past 10 years. While he was generally content to hide out in the workshop creating new enrichment for monkeys and lemurs, he was gradually coaxed into sharing his inventions and ideas with the outside world, participating in the zoo’s enrichment committee, helping Emily Bowling run the volunteer enrichment build team at the Saint Louis Zoo, entering enrichment contests, presenting at AAZK conferences, and helping teach Hose2Habitat workshops. In his free time, Ethan enjoys waxing poetic about polycarbonate, high-density polyethylene, CNC routers, and Norm Abram.
We met Ethan at our Houston Zoo workshop after we asked him to lead a workshop session there for the barrel feeder he entered in our Annual Enrichment Contest. (He has entered our contest twice, won a category both times, and is now banned for life from entering.) He rarely leaves an enrichment concept alone...his inventive mind almost always adds a new aspect to each general concept. We are fortunate to have him as a member of our Advisory Board.
Mandy Siegel, African Watering Hole/Polar Bear Watch Keeper,
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Mandy works with a variety of hoofstock, birds, and carnivores, but rhinos are her heart animal. She enjoys the challenge of designing enrichment for strong, destructive species and creating goal-oriented enrichment designed to elicit species-specific behaviors. Because zoo enrichment is expensive to buy and often is not durable, Mandy thinks that repurposing firehose, tires, PVC, and similar materials is ideal