Michelle’s professional background includes information technology recruiting, workshop facilitation and coaching in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. She then operated her own “companion animal sitting” business while laying the ground work for the Sanctuary. Additionally, she is a Certified Healthy Congregations Facilitator and is in her second year of a leadership immersion program. It has always been her hearts desire to something “meaningful” outside of corporate america, to live simply and promote connection.
While, Michelle has always felt a deep connection and respect for animals, she wasn’t aware of the consequences of her food choices. She was a vegetarian for about 6.5 years but still didn’t have the knowledge of how animals are treated for food products. Finally, upon reading “Farm Sanctuary” by Gene Baur she learned the horrors of how animals are bred, abused, and slaughtered for food products, and immediately went vegan. She became involved with a local vegan organization and participated in protests and facilitating education workshops. Meanwhile, she tried to find a sanctuary close enough to volunteer, as she longed to be part of the healing process for animals, but didn’t find one anywhere near her. It was then that the seeds for the Sanctuary were really planted.
Michelle and Mark purchased the property for the Sanctuary in 2012, and began the process of creating a registered non-profit. Michelle completed an extensive immersion of animal care and shelter management at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in Woodstock, NY to prepare for running her own sanctuary. Additionally, she has visited other sanctuaries and conducted substantial research on farm animal care and advocacy.
For Michelle, it has been amazing to watch this beautiful place emerge from an “idea” and to see the community that has formed. For her, it is an honor to have the opportunity to rescue and truly know farmed animals as the individuals they are.
Michelle resides on the property with her husband and co-founder Mark and their six companion animals! She is currently PEAK’s Sanctuary Manager.
Michelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communications from Indiana University.