Our Leadership Team

The knowledgeable staff at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary bring extensive and varied credentials in both bird care and nature/science education to our non-profit’s mission. Meet our leadership team! 


Gail Laux Ohio Bird SanctuaryGail Laux—Founder & Executive Director
Gail established the Ohio Bird Sanctuary in 1988 and has steered its growth ever since. She has a B.S. in Biology from Wittenberg University and three decades of experience in environmental education. 

Mary Meixner Ohio Bird Sanctuary

Mary Meixner—Curator of Birds
Mary began at OBS as a college intern and now works as our Curator of Birds. She earned a B.S. in  Zoo and Wildlife Biology from Malone University and has field experience in a number of zoological parks and preserves.

Abby Bramlage—Operations Assistant

Part of the OBS family for more than a decade, Abby has also worked at the Cincinnati and Columbus Zoos in education programs and animal presentations. She has a degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation from The Ohio State University. 




Julie Schwartz—Youth Program Coordinator

In managing OBS’s many youth education programs, Julie draws upon her 12 years of experience as a science teacher and Assistant Principal. She has  Bachelors Degrees in Biology and Education from the University of Toledo and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from The Ohio State University.  

Jan Ferrell—Naturalist

Jan has been a valued part of the OBS team for more than 20 years.  She is intimately familiar with the nature of Ohio and sharing its wonders with all ages: She attended The Ohio State University and is a retired Naturalist for the Richland County Park District.


Support Staff 


The Sanctuary relies on the following group of dedicated individuals that assist part-time with bird care, educational programming, special events and greeting visitors: Whitney Gibbons, Stephanie Lewis, Susan Kalkbrenner, Emily Smith,  Dawne Snyder, Tracie Stadleman


Board of Trustees

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees.


President : William Smith (RFME Insurance Group)

Vice President : C. Richard Thompson (Attorney) 

Treasurer : Thomas Witkowski (Entrepreneur)    

Secretary: Jay Allred (Richland Source) 


Val Ashcraft (Ohio Dreams)

Robin Barrett (Central Elementary)

Preston Boyd (ES Beveridge & Associates)

Alex Kulka (ES Beveridge & Associates)

Nicole Lewis (Chambers of Commerce)

Sheila Hummel (Corpad)

Edward Kulka -  Board Member Emeritus



Copyright © 2018 Ohio Bird Sanctuary. All rights reserved.