The North Alabama Zoological Society could not exist without its volunteers. We are currently an all volunteer society. Someday soon we hope we can hire this great group of individuals that currently work full time jobs and use their free time to keep the society moving forward.
Ethan is currently a Principle Consultant for Integrated Solutions for Systems. He graduated with Physics and Mathematics degrees from the University of Montana. His 20 year career has been a mixture of engineering, marketing, sales, and business development in the high tech software world. He grew up taking care of animals on his parent's and grandparents' farms in the beautiful Mission Valley on the Flathead Indian Reservation of Montana. He married Christie, who also shares a love for animals. That love has continued as they and their four daughters have regularly visited the nearby zoos and aquariums where his career has taken them. It was one of these visits to the Birmingham Zoo on a daddy daughter date that started the "A Zoo For You, North Alabama" wheels turning.
Currently an independent consultant, Buz is a non-profit executive with an MS, MBA and over 25 years’ experience in top rated zoological and conservation organizations throughout the US. He has served in senior leadership positions such as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Director, Nature Center Director and Assistant Zoo Director. In addition, Buz has served as a Professor at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, the only zoological college training program with an AZA accredited zoo on campus. Buz has also served as an adjunct instructor for Colorado State University's graduate program in Zoo, Aquarium and Animal Shelter Management. Buz is an AZA professional member.
Director of Education
Christie is currently continuing her 8th year as a substitute teacher, 4th year at Madison County Schools. Substituting teaching allows her to be at home with her beautiful daughters when she needs to be and also expressing her love for teaching. She is a graduate of the University of Montana with a degree in Communications Studies, with an emphasis in Conflict Resolution and is a certified Mediator for the State of Michigan. Christie grew up in Bozeman, MT spending time on the rivers and lakes and snowmobiling and hiking in the mountains, including in Yellowstone National Park. She has given many years of service creating and executing summer camps for the young women all over the U.S. for her Church. She has a passion for wildlife and loves visiting zoos and aquariums across the country.
Director of Research
Willie is a member of the Senior Executive Service with the Department of Defense. He studied at the University of Texas and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is a graduate from the University of Oxford’s Executive Leadership Program and Harvard University’s Senior Executive National and International Security Program. His 30-year career spans operations, engineering, test and evaluation, and research and development in missile defense, hypersonics, directed energy and space technologies. A nature enthusiast and conservationist, he leads wildlife and natural science research at NALZS, focused on the impacts of human development on wildlife habitats, restoration of endangered species and threatened ecosystems, and sustainable farming and aquaculture. He leads the NALZS Research Advisory Committee and organizes interdisciplinary laboratory and field research in the areas of environmental sciences, fisheries management, ecology, forestry, biology and chemistry. His wife and five children all share a love for wildlife and enjoy zoos and aquariums worldwide.
Director of Conservation
Lacy is currently the Marketing Coordinator for Jeff Benton Homes in Huntsville, AL. She graduated with a Bachelors in Marketing and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Her career has been a mixture of marketing, management, sales, recruitment, and graphic design. Her love of animals came from her very first job as a kennel attendant at a local veterinarian clinic in her home town of Bentonville, Arkansas. Her older sister graduated with a Bachelors in Zoo Science from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas and has been working as a Zookeeper at the Sedgwick County Zoo for the past 13 years. She also has three animals of her own that she adopted from a local shelter, A New Leash on Life. During her free time, she enjoys being outside and hiking to waterfalls with her two best friends and she is currently fixing up her very first home.