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Our Staff

The Amazing Team

Letrecia “Trish” Nichols


Executive Director of Black Pine Animal Sanctuary since 2019.  Named CEO January 2024.

Extensive experience in the nonprofit sector and business management.

Past roles include Executive Director for the Animal Welfare League of Kosciusko County, president of the Boys & Girls Club, Director of Operations for Superior Landscape Products and Excavation, and Councilwoman at-large for her community.

Trish currently serves on the Steering Committee & Finance Committee of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance and is a Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club member.


Kim Huth

Senior Lead Keeper

Kim graduated from Purdue University West Lafayette in 2014 with a degree in Wildlife Biology and a minor in Spanish.

My previous experience includes being a primate and birdkeeper at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, an education assistant at Columbian Park Zoo, a veterinary assistant at St. Joe Center Veterinary Hospital, and a rehab assistant at Canine Rehab at NIVES.

Kim interned at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in 2014 and completely fell in love with the mission (and the animals, of course!)

Honored to be hired as a Lead Keeper of Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in June 2019

She spends her free time with her husband, family, friends, and three wonderful domestic cats. She loves tap dancing, traveling, and visiting accredited sanctuaries and zoos.

Laura Landgrebe

Vet Tech

Laura has a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Technology from Michigan State University and LVT for over 20 years, working most of that time in the zoo/sanctuary world.

Runs a personal nonprofit organization called International Veterinary Care, Inc.

Enjoys international travel and learning new and exciting animal conservation work.

Kaitlyn Pfefferkorn

Lead Keeper / Commissary Manager

Graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology/concentration in zoology.

Interned at ARF Animal Shelter Spring of 2020

Interned at BPAS summer of 2020.

Joined the BPAS team as a Lead Keeper in the summer of 2021 and became Commissary Manager in June 2022

Kelsi studied abroad in Costa Rica in 2019, studying wildlife diversity.

Lexus Garces

Education Coordinator

Lexus is originally from Wisconsin and graduated from Goshen College in 2020 with a Biology degree and experience in Elementary Education. In her time at Goshen, she studied Marine Biology in the Florida Keys, conducted a research project on captive serval behavior, completed an internship at Black Pine, and spent 3 months living in China where she taught high school students.

After graduation, she moved to the Rio Grande Valley where she worked as the Primary Giraffe Keeper at the Gladys Porter Zoo. She also comes with a background in youth programming and community outreach from time spent at the Brownsville Public Library.

Her favorite animals are opossums, and in her free time Lexus loves travelling, antiquing, and spending time with her cat.

Becky Graves

Guest Services, Part-Time Lead Keeper

Graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Biology Degree in 2014

Her background includes a Prairie Management Internship, Callitrichid Enrichment volunteer, Gorilla Behavior Research Project Assistant, and Management and Training.

Joined the Black Pine team as a Part-Time Lead Keeper and Guest Services Manager in August 2022

While living abroad, Becky lived and worked at the Thai Street Paws Rescue in Songkhla, Thailand.

Guy Anderson

Maintenance / Grounds

Interned at Black Pine in 2020.

Previously worked in park maintenance and wildlife rehabilitation in my home state of Minnesota. Lived in Costa Rica as a research assistant/motorcycle mechanic.

Joined Black Pine as the Maintenance Manager in September 2023

Trey Mariner

Lead Keeper

Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Indiana University

Started as an intern at Black Pine in 2021

Trey spent one year volunteering at Soaring Hawk Raptor Rehab as a bird handler and avian care provider, doing bird rescues and in the ICU.

He enjoys building with LEGO, playing video games, and reading.

Lydia Berg

Lead Keeper

She graduated from Wittenberg University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Previous experience with large carnivores, including big cats and tigers.

Interned for three months at The Wild Animal Sanctuary-Texas in Boyd, TX, and for six months at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, AR

Through experience, she has fallen in love with the animals and the mission to rescue and provide peaceful, happy lives for exotic animals in need.  She is glad to have landed here at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary!

Henry Pflueger

Lead Keeper

Graduated from Bishop Dwenger in 2021

Prior experience in reptile rehab and education

Member of the Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group

Actively assisting Hoosier Turtle and Tortoise Sanctuary

Madison Macke

Lead Keeper

Graduated from Purdue University, specializing in Wildlife Management

Her background is primarily working and studying native amphibians.

“Black Pine has given me a great opportunity to work and learn more about managing exotic wildlife. I look forward to continuing my services for these animals and spreading awareness on the negatives of owning wildlife as pets.” ~Maddie

Beca Boyle

Lead Keeper

I grew up right here in Albion and attended Central Noble Schools. My certificates are in Veterinarian Assistant and Euthanasia. I attended Penn Foster for small business management.

I worked for ten years in human health care as a CNA before changing over to animal care. I interned at black pine in 2014 and became part of the team in October 2023. Before moving into management, I spent nine years in an animal shelter as a receptionist, kennel attendant, and medical assistant.  I enjoy time with my family and my beloved animals. I love being outdoors in nature; it’s so peaceful and relaxing! I garden, can, and make natural products in my free time.



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