Kelvin J. Buchanan, P.E., C.P.G.President
Kel is President of the HB Engineering Group. As an active member of the community serving several local non-profits, Kel was excited to help Animal Ark as well. He received his Bachelor’s degree at the University of British Colombia and an MBA at Pepperdine University. His wife of 35 years, Holly is also a volunteer at Animal Ark.
Chuck has practiced accounting in Reno for more than 25 years. He received his B.S. and MBA from the University of Nevada, and a M.S in Taxation from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He is a part-time professor and teaches accounting classes at Morrison University. His areas of practice include preparation of corporate tax returns, audits, reviews and compilation of financial statements. Chuck has been on the board since 2017.
Jerry M. PolahaTrustee
Judge Jerry Polaha, a husband and father of four sons, was appointed to the bench by Gov. Guinn in 1999 and retained in the last two elections. Jerry was one of the original three lawyers who started the Washoe County Public Defender’s Office in 1969. With a 30 year career as a lawyer, Jerry is currently a commissioner on the Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission. Jerry was elected to the Animal Ark Board of Trustees in January 2013.
Tommy B. ThompsonTrustee
Tommy received his Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in Geology from the University of New Mexico. He taught for over 47 years at Oklahoma State University, Colorado State University and University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). He became the first Director of the Ralph J. Roberts Center for Research in Economic Geology (CREG) at UNR after an international search and served in that capacity for 16 years. Accomplished teacher, researcher, author and advisor, Tommy has also served the Society of Economic Geologists and has held the positions of Vice President and President of the Geological Society of Nevada, Reno.
AaronCo-founder and Executive Director
Aaron, a native Nevadan, having founded Animal Ark with his wife, has served as President from 1985 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2005, and has been Executive Director since 2005. As Executive Director, Aaron is the primary spokesperson for the organization, leads major fund development efforts, communicates with governance boards, and is responsible for the overall management of the organization. Aaron has been responsible for the design and construction of the Animal Ark facility since its inception in 1981.
After graduating from the University of Nevada with a degree in Political Science, Steven received his JD degree from the University of San Diego law school in 2011. He is currently Of Counsel with the law firm of Dickson-Wright in Reno. Steven specializes in patent litigation. During his student years, he helped the University of Nevada win a National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association Championship.
Jennifer received her JD degree from the University of Arizona, and worked as a commercial litigator with the Reno law firm of Lionel, Sawyer and Collins for 30 years, until the firm disbanded in 2014. Jennifer currently serves on the board of Renown Health-Hometown Health and is Vice President of the Reno Chamber Orchestra. She is an accomplished equestrian. Her interest in animals prompted her and her husband John to do a photo safari in East Africa. Jennifer joined the board in 2018.